Petrol stations will be shut from 19.00 on Tuesday 6 February until 07.00 on Friday 9 February in protest against the a new law liberalising the sale of fuel passed by the government at the end of January. The new measure, which means large supermarkets will be able to sell petrol and diesel, forms part of a package of pro-competition laws masterminded by the minister for economic developlment, Pierluigi Bersani. The strike is just the first of what will amount to a total of 14 days of industrial action by petrol station workers spaced out between now and April. Petrol stations on motorways will follow a slightly different strike timetable, closing at 22.00 on Tuesday 6 February and reopening at 22.00 on Thursday 8 February. In Sicily, the strike has been brought forward by 24 hours and will begin today, Monday 5 February, at 19.00. Bersani has told petrol worker unions that he is open to talks, but the sector has replied that discussions should have preceded the passing of the new law.
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