Spain is struggling with the consequences of riots in Libya, which resulted in sharply increased prices for oil and stopping of the Libyan oil flow to Europe. In order to reduce gasoline consumption Spanish authorities from March 2011 introduced new speed limit on motorways from 120 to 110 kilometers per hour.
According to the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, these measures would significantly reduce gasoline consumption in the country. The estimated reduction in consumption should be up to 15%, according to El Pais.
According to government officials, lowering the speed limit is aimed only to help people in a situation with fuel shortage in the Spanish market.
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba also noted that this lowering will be the first in the upcoming national company to introduce new speed limits not only on highways, but also in the cities. Also Spain is planning to increase percentage of biofuels up to 7%. Now this figure is 5.8%.
Simultaneously with the introduction of new speed limits for motor vehicles, Spanish authorities are trying to attract the attention of the Spaniards to the rail transport. In the scope of the campaign to reduce fuel consumption the government reported about decline in prices for services of the Spanish railway network Renfe. Ticket prices in the Spanish trains will possibly be reduced by 5%.
It is worth noting that both measures - low prices for railway tickets and lowering of the speed limit in Spain - are temporary. Once the market situation is normalized, the restrictions will be lifted. At the same time, Spanish government cannot sound the exact data. It is only known that the new speed limit will come into effect from 7 March 2011.
On February 22, 2011 the Spanish-Argentine oil company Repsol announced about termination of oil and gas production in Libya. Repsol YPF is Spain's largest oil company. Its profits in 2010 exceeded 1.9 billion euros.