Spanish truck drivers continued their fuel blockades at the main Franco-Spanish border crossings yesterday, according to Agence France Presse. Their efforts have already hit production at two major car plants in the north of Spain, officials said.
Hundreds of trucks are participating in the three-day protest focused on obtaining compensation for rising fuel prices. Thousands of taxi drivers in Madrid joined in on the strike yesterday.
The effects of the protests are also being felt in France, where local authorities near the northeastern border have banned all trucks from the motorway leading to Spain while the blockade continues.
Meanwhile road haulers and their clients were scheduled to resume talks today, ready to tackle the problem of the clients’ unwillingness to accept a 10 percent increase in transportation tariffs following the increase in fuel prices, reported AFP.
The Spanish authorities have rejected a demand by truckers for the creation of a "sliding tax" that would change with fluctuating fuel prices.
Meanwhile, in Sicily, local authorites warned that rubbish collection and public transport could grind to a halt within days if protesting truckers angry over fuel prices don’t back down.
Groups of truck drivers have blocked roads across the island as well as ports and oil refineries for the last couple of days, according to published reports. Strikes also jammed ports in the south of mainland Italy, where police were stopping trucks boarding ferries to get across Sicily.
Sicily's regional government is making plans to meet with trucker representatives to discuss the problem.
On Sunday, Argentina’s National Transport Confederation began an indefinite strike of their own, sharply cutting the number of trucks on the road and seriously affecting impact on the flow of cattle throughout the nation, according to published reports.
Meanwhile, Greek truckers called off a weeklong strike that caused widespread fuel shortages. Most of their demands were met except one for a fuel tax reduction, and the government also threatened a compulsory call-up to force strikers back to work, according to AP reports.
About 40,000 owners and drivers of trucks began an indefinite strike a week ago mainly to protest government plans deregulating their profession. They also wanted a reduction of fuel taxes, currently the lowest in the European Union.
Half the gas stations in Greece are said to have closed during the strike.