Europe-wide fuel protests continue
Truckers, farmers and fishermen upset over high fuel prices continued to reap chaos across Europe, as European Union transport ministers met here late yesterday hoping to forge a common transport strategy.
In Spain, the fuel crisis escalated further yesterday as over 7,000 fishermen tightened their grip on ports along the country’s Mediterranean coastline, and shut down fish markets in Huelva and Valencia in the south. Protesting truckers continued to block oil depots and harbours in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and some service stations in Finland and Norway said they were running dry.
Efforts by the German government to keep a lid on smouldering protests were not helped when Shell, DEA, and Elf-Total Fina announced yesterday a 1.5 cent hike in gasoline and a two cent hike in diesel prices, the second price hike within a week.
The European Union Transport Ministers’ meeting, called by the French EU presidency, was being billed as an “exchange of views” and was not expected to yield any concrete decisions.
In Romania, truckers angry over high fuel prices threatened yesterday to launch go-slow operations at an unspecified date. They dubbed the protest plans the “Rally of Hopelessness.”
In Finland, the truckers federation yesterday said it would stick to a moderate line even though the government refused to reduce gasoline taxes, federation spokesman Iiro Lehtonen said. – AFP
©--Agence France Presse.