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Spanish fuel protests escalate


Spanish fuel protests escalate

Tensions are rising among Spain’s striking lorry drivers, who are protesting at soaring fuel prices. Many say the rising cost of diesel is driving them towards bankruptcy, and they cannot go on.

One union, representing some 50,000 drivers, claimed nearly 90 percent support for the strike, which could be joined by 70,000 more drivers on Monday.

The Spanish government has set up a special committee to ensure food supplies in the shops, and meetings with the unions are planned for Monday.

“No-one likes taking these sort of decisions, but when, like now, there is no response from the government, then independent drivers have no choice but to take action,” said union spokesperson, Amaia Martinez.

The drivers’ action is part of a series of strikes hitting Spain and other parts of Europe, fuelled by rising diesel prices and mostly driven by fishermen.

Spain’s leading fishing union, Cepesca, said boats were idle in Cantabria and the Basque Country in the north, and in Andalucia in the south, while ports on the east coast would decide before Monday whether to join the strike.

Cepesca expected the whole Spanish fleet would refuse to put to sea by the end of the week.