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Cabinet, Business Call for Calm after Wednesday’s Petrol Panic Buying

The business community and the government have made reassuring statements to calm down petrol panic buying in Bulgaria on Wednesday.
The LUKOIL-Bulgaria oil refinery is operating at full capacity and has no problems with the deliveries of raw materials, the company said on Thursday. “We are meeting all of our commitments to our partners and the State. We have the necessary resources to continue business as normal regardless of the complicated situation,” said the company.
Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters there was no fuel shortage in Bulgaria as one tanker had been unloaded on Wednesday and two more were waiting. He said he would refer the price hikes in some petrol stations to the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC).
E-government Minister Bozhidar Bozhanov wrote on Facebook that a disinformation campaign had led to panic buying. The combination of disinformation and some traders’ tendency to exploit people’s fears has led to price hikes and tension, he said. His Ministry is analyzing the sources and conduits of this disinformation.
Zhivodar Terziev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association, told BTA: “The warehouses are fully stocked, most petrol stations opened today, there is no hysteria.” The price of diesel oil was above 3 leva per litre in just one chain of petrol stations he visited in Stara Zagora (South Central Bulgaria). There is no reason why the same fuel should sell at prices ranging between 2.67 and 3.30 leva/litre on Thursday morning. Still, the CPC always advocates competition, said Terziev.
He said it was social media posts that provoked the long queues. “In six hours on Wednesday, the petrol stations I manage sold three days’ worth of fuel,” said Terziev.