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European truckers protest against soaring fuel prices
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13:14, June 10, 2008

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Tens of thousands of truckers in some member countries of the EU carried out protests Monday against the rising fuel prices, triggering highway blocking.

Spanish trucks jammed several main highways, including at the frontier with France, and caused tangle in the capital Madrid and Valencia, said a Spanish traffic official.

Spain's second largest haulier's union Fenadismer, claiming to represent 70,000 out of Spain's 380,000 truck drivers, launched a massive open-ended strike.

French truckers struggling with high fuel costs launched similar protests near the Spanish border and in the southwest.

Some trucks disrupted traffic at border posts, stopping trucks from crossing, and triggering a tailback of some 10 km on both sides of the border.

About 200 trucks gathered on the four main expressways leading into Bordeaux Monday morning, causing 30 km of tailbacks in and around the city.

Among the truckers, some protesters waved banners which read: "Trucks Unemployed."

In Portugal, the strikers blocked the entrances to some factories. Police said trucks, parked at petrol pumps or on roads, were stoned after the strike started. There are some 40,000 truckers serving an estimated 5,000 firms.

"We are demanding immediate measures" to counter the impact of high fuel prices, said Jean-Pierre Morlin, president of the European trucking organization for the Aquitaine region.

Portugal's Transportation and Communications Minister Mario Lino would meet with representatives of the road transport associations in a bid to end the stoppage.

Also on Monday, French fishermen from Mediterranean ports ended a three-week strike, protesting marine diesel prices hike.


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