ATHENS – It sounds like a Monty Python skit or a parody but Greece’s state-run ERT TV aired a piece showing how to siphon gasoline from cars as prices are rising so much the state is paying some pittance subsidies.
“It’s not something terribly complicated … you don’t even need a special tube, even a hose for balconies will do,” the station’s reporter Costas Stamou said during ERT’s morning news program Syndeseis, said the British newspaper The Guardian.
After demonstrating the method, a car repairman then points out where a car’s fuel tank can be pierced to steal the contents, giving further advice on theft to make it easier to take the gas from someone else’s car. There was no apparent warning about the danger of fire or an explosion.
“Are you guys in your right mind? Giving people tips on stealing gasoline?” said one user on Twitter.
Another joked: “After the tutorial on two ways to easily steal gasoline, ERT is now preparing new how-to’s on how to open locks and steal wallets.”
It was juicy fodder for satire too with Luben, a website known for that, mixing a video in response that was viewed more than 170,000 times in one day with the 32,500 seeing the original segment on Twitter.
A car expert explained how to insert a tube into a vehicle’s fuel tank and suck the gasoline within into a container, drawing mocking responses that the station was giving good advice on how to steal.
One YouTuber couldn’t resist a shot, saying: “The reporter: In tomorrow’s bulletin, we will learn how to open balcony doors from the outside and the most animal-friendly ways to distract a guard dog,” its top comment said.
Another, on Twitter, posted excerpts of the aired program, quipping: “In tomorrow’s episode: How to get two kilos of feta cheese and a steak without being noticed in the supermarket.”
Fuel prices have continued to soar in Greece, where unleaded petrol costs over $9 a gallon, according to European price-tracking website Fuelo and as much as $10 a gallon, more than double that in the US where prices drew outrage.