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Bulgaria: Fuel Shortages Halt Traffic

Sofia, 13 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Severe fuel shortages are paralyzing commercial and public traffic throughout Bulgaria today.

RFE/RL's correspondent in Sofia reports lines of vehicles reaching over two kilometers stretch out from the only two gas stations selling fuel in Sofia, and drivers must wait up to six hours to fuel their cars. Each car is allowed only 20 liters of fuel.

And because of diminished oil reserves, the Neftochim refinery is only producing 27 percent of the gasoline and diesel fuel needed each day in Bulgaria under normal conditions

The city of Smolyan has not seen fuel for six days, and the only gas station in Zlatograd has suspended fueling of all vehicles, including the ambulances of the city hospital. Public transport in Vratza and Pernik has stopped and other cities are expected to follow today.