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Fuel Protests Flare in Europe

Posted by feww on May 28, 2008

Truckers and fishermen across Europe protest rising oil prices

Truckers and fishermen across Europe held protests against rising world oil prices on Wednesday, demanding government action to prevent the price hikes. Protests were held across Britain, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Netherlands and Spain.


Trucks are driven along a section of the A40 highway during a demonstration, in London on May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

In Britain a convoy of truckers converged on London on Tuesday, closing a busy main road and causing traffic backlogs. Similar protests took place in Wales, were Welsh hauliers threatened to blockade ports and refineries. Refinery blockades in 2000 caused shortages in many areas. The drivers demanded a rebate because they said fuel bills had risen by 50 percent in one year. Britain has the highest fuel taxes in the European Union.

In Bulgaria hundreds of truckers launched protests in the capital Sofia, the Black Sea port city of Varna and the Danube port city of Russe on Wednesday, demanding lower taxes on fuels and calling for price ceilings on fuels.

In France the fishermen continued their ongoing protest against high diesel prices on Wednesday with truckers and farmers adding their voice demanding action from the government. Fishermen demanded to buy diesel at discounted rate at half the market prices, which have increased by 30 percent in 2008. They staged similar protests last year asking government to cushion the effects of surging marine fuel prices that have eroded their profit margins. Farmers blocked access to an oil depot operated by Total near the city of Toulouse and demanded the government exempt them from a special petrol tax called TIPP.

French truckers group OTRE also threatened to take action across France if the government failed to respond to their demands by Thursday evening.

In Italy fishermen in the Adriatic will strike commencing Friday.

In Netherlands truckers are planning a national day of action for Thursday to protest against rising diesel prices.

In Spain the Fishermen’s Confederation is arranging a protest in Madrid for Friday and the main truckers’ association has called a strike for June 8 concerning high fuel prices. Farmers in Catalonia are expected to announce protests.
(Original report by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit, Reuters. Copyright Thomson Reuters). Partially edited by FEWW

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4 Responses to “Fuel Protests Flare in Europe”

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