Truckers in Spain and Poland are planning fuel protests for tomorrow, while Belgian blockades are remaining steady.
Organizers say truckers, taxi drivers and consumers in Spain have vowed to block roads in the cities of Barcelona and Merida later this week to protest high fuel prices.
Tomorrow’s movement is the first planned by Spain's national oil consumers' association, which has threatened to increase the pressure "French-style" if Madrid refuses to lower taxes on gasoline and diesel, group spokesman Esteban Lopez told Agence France Presse. (French truckers blockaded highways and fuel depots for nearly a week before the government agreed to fuel tax rebates.)
The group asked for consumers to boycott filling stations run by the country's main oil company, Repsol, which distributes 50 percent of Spain's fuel.
The next round of talks between the government and the consumers' association is set to take place on Monday in Madrid. If the meeting fails, Lopez said protesters would intensify their efforts, blocking oil distribution points for an unspecified amount of time.
About 100 trucks and taxis were expected to converge in Barcelona, while approximately 5,000 people are preparing to gather in Merida.
In Poland, trucker representatives have called a nationwide traffic slowdown for tomorrow, and are scheduled to meet with officials today to discuss lowering fuel prices.
According to AFP, the transportation ministry and other officials are going to meet with representatives of the Association of Polish International Transporters, who represent 4,000 trucking companies.
On a Polish radio broadcast yesterday, Finance Minister Jaroslaw Bauc ruled out lowering fuel taxes, saying that the revenue they generated was very important for the state budget.
Polish fishermen, farmers and taxi drivers have also planned to organize protests, reported AFP.
In Belgium, trucker’s groups and government officials negotiated throughout the night to end fuel blockades. The two main truckers' federations signed an agreement earlier today with the
government to end the road blockades. According to published reports, the government will not lower excise taxes on fuel; instead, it has agreed to a reduction in road tax road tax, insurance costs and social security
costs for the trucking industry.