Dutch truckers withdrew the roadblocks that have been snarling traffic for almost a week after the Dutch government agreed to give trucking, taxi and bus companies, as well as other fuel-using companies, some $300 million to compensate for high fuel prices.
Truckers in the Netherlands blocked national roads and blew their horns outside government offices Friday, before the government finally agreed to meet with the transport unions to discuss their protest.
The Hungarian government averted threatened protests by agreeing to postpone a 6 percent increase in excise taxes as long as the world crude oil price is over $25 a barrel.
The Irish Road Haulage Assn. also lifted its protests after the government approached them Friday night about talks on the issue of excise taxes and other problems in the trucking industry.
In Germany, truckers drove slowly through Hanover, Osnabrueck, Meiningen and Ulm with horns blaring to protest high fuel prices Saturday, but the demonstrations did not cause any serious disruptions. The German Federation of Road Hauliers has called on all truckers to join a protest on Sept. 26. Polls in Germany indicate high public support for the truckers' plight. Government officials warn they will use federal border patrol officers to clear any illegal blockades, but have hinted of some tax concessions in the works.
In Denmark, about 1,100 truckers met over the weekend and decided to hold off on protests until they meet with the government Thursday.
In Spain, truckers and farmers parked outside fuel depots in several cities. The government is talking to trucker groups. The National Platform of Fuel Consumers, which includes truckers along with farmers, fishermen and taxi drivers, is threatening to blockade refineries and fuel depots as their counterparts did in France and England.
Several hundred truck drivers, farmers, and car owners blocked Sweden's main ports and ferry terminals on Saturday, according to the Swedish haulers federation. Although they lifted port blockades late Saturday, trucker groups warned they would be stepping up their action again today. Representatives from the Federation of Southern Haulers are due to meet with government officials this week.
However, according to AFP, Prime Minister Goeran Persson has ruled out any reduction in taxes on fuel, while sympathizing with the problems faced by of road-using professionals.
Finnish truckers joined the fray with a small protest Sunday, followed by a blockade of about 50 trucks targeting the main refinery of Finnish energy group Fortum at Porvoo today.
In Norway on Monday truckers blocked 11 oil terminals at key ports along the country's southern and western coasts.