Spanish petrol stations have announced that they will back the Consumers' Union (UCE) campaign and close down on the last Sunday of every month, in protest at the rising price of petrol. The UCE has been encouraging motorists not to buy petrol on the last Sunday of the month in protest at the increases. Roberto Sáez, head of the petrol stations federation, said that before staging the one day protests they would consult consumers to see if they were in agreeemnt. He said that they had discussed the possibility of closing on a day which marked the start of a holiday period, as it would have a greater social impact, and could cause serious inconvenience to the petrol companies. Approximately 85 per cent of the 7'600 petrol stations belong to the federation. Saez said that they were planning their protest, which will be communicated to Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar by letter, to show that the government's steps to liberalise the market are useless. They are also preparing a letter to be given to users, informing them that their profit margin is fixed, seven pesetas a litre for petrol and six for diesel, irrespective of the price increases. The petrol companies, for their part, yesterday claimed that they were actually losing money. Petrol prices rose by 78 per cent more in Spain than in Europe in April, while diesel prices actually fell in Europe although they went up in Spain.


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