Rome, December 19 - Italian petrol distributors on Wednesday lifted gas station protests scheduled for the holidays, ensuring smoother traveling for drivers motoring to their Christmas and New Year's destinations. A consortium of retail petrol interest groups and unions accepted the Italian government's appeal to suspend all forms of protest planned for the busy road-trip season. The consortium threatened last month to refuse electronic payment by debit or credit cards at thousands of petrol distributors throughout Italy during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The groups also threatened to intentionally bungle payments for petrol station resupplies, thus disrupting petrol company operations and potentially leaving petrol stations dry of fuel just as Italians motor off to their Christmas destinations. The groups - FAIB Confesercenti, FEGICA CISL and FIGISC/ANISA Confcommercio - urged the Italian economic development ministry to force petrol companies to obey current laws and joint agreements, and called on the government to act as an intermediary for negotiations. Gas stations also accuse the government of policies that overcompensate oil companies and under-compensate distributors. Negotiations were inconclusive between petrol-station managers and the industry ministry on December 10, sparking pump closures for several days last week.