Microbus drivers block Ring Road

Dozens of Microbus drivers continued to block a portion of the Ring Road in Maadi Sunday morning, protesting diesel shortages and their inability to fill their tanks for days.

The protest backed up traffic in Mounib and at Bahr al-Azam Street, and traffic congestion extended all the way to Giza Square.

Security officials went to the scene and tried in vain to negotiate with the drivers to reopen the road, vowing to forward their complaints to the Petroleum and Supply Ministries.

Egypt has suffered chronic fuel shortages since the January 2011 uprising, creating long lines of vehicles outside petrol stations that occasionally devolve into fights.

Diesel fuel subsidies account for nearly 47 percent of the energy subsidy budget for 2012-2013, and are likely to stand at LE55 billion, out of a predicted total of LE120 billion allocated for petroleum subsidies.

Egypt, a minor oil producer, imports a large portion of its petroleum needs due to weak refining capacities.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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