The German government formally approved $1.5 billion in tax breaks and subsidies aimed at balancing high fuel prices yesterday, but held tight to its "ecology tax" on fossil fuels, meaning little relief for truckers.

Officials say oil producers would increase their prices if the government scrapped a tax that was slapped on fuel last year and is due to be raised again in January.
Germans who drive to work, people on welfare and students will experience some fuel tax relief because of the plan, but it does little to help truckers, taxi drivers, farmers and opposition parties.
About 7,000 trucks blocked central Berlin Tuesday in a protest over high fuel prices. The government agreed to offer low-interest loans to trucking companies having trouble with the prices, but truckers' representatives said that wasn't enough.