Fuel stations 'will stop operating' if there's no deal over profits
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Fuel stations 'will stop operating' if there's no deal over profits

Stations were bound to implement substantial refurbishment by 2020

Fuel stations will stop operating unless an agreement is reached over an increase in their margin of profitability, the chamber for small businesses (GRTU) warned on Fruday.

Discussions between the chamber that represents the petrol station owners and the government have been dragging on since 2014, and operators are expected to refurbish fuel stations by next year – an expense that could reach half a million euros.

CEO Abigail Mamo told the Times of Malta that in 2014, the GRTU had presented the government with a study carried out by independent auditors about the increase, in cents, in the margin of profit for fuel stations.

The last increase, which was a marginal one, was made nine years ago, she noted.

Read: GRTU threatens possible fuel station action

The survey demonstrated that some of the pressures being faced by operators because of infrastructural requirements are due to new regulations.

The CEO said fuel stations were bound to implement substantial refurbishment by 2020.

Time is passing by and the government appears to be in no rush to settle things

“The cost is to the tune of half a million euros per station,” Ms Mamo said.

“Time is passing by and the government appears to be in no rush to settle things, while requirements by the Environment and Resources Authority and the Regulator for Energy and Water Services continue to increase, with 2020 knocking on our door.”

Backed by the study, the GRTU had entered into negotiations with the government in 2014, and discussions have been ongoing.

However, the government had actually reneged on some of the things that had already been agreed upon, according to the GRTU.

Progress registered over the past years fell through, with discussions with Energy Minister Joe Mizzi appearing to start afresh, Ms Mamo added.

The GRTU accused the minister of dragging his feet in spite of numerous meetings,and warned that it was now willing to escalate the situation.

Ms Mamo said that a meeting between the ministry and the GRTU was planned for the coming days and added that the chamber had given the government an ultimatum that if no agreement was reached, its members were ready to stop providing the service until negotiations were closed off.

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