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Fuel crisis - Spanish truckers reject Madrid's offer

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Fuel crisis - Spanish truckers reject Madrid's offer


The Spanish government is holding fresh negotiations with drivers’ unions after a deal agreed last night failed to appease all of the country’s truckers. There has been some movement, with lorries now allowed through the La Jonquera border crossing into France for the first time in three days. Many of those still striking belong to small unions who had not been included in talks. They say they have not been represented so they are not going back to work.

Yesterday’s protests were marked by tragedy with a Spanish and a Portuguese driver being run over and killed as they manned blockades. As anger over surging fuel prices mounts, Brussels has indicated it could alter its no-subsidy stance. This afternoon the Commission was due to study the possibility of short term aid packages.

After three days of strikes and blockades, shortages of food and fuel are becoming common. Some petrol and diesel stations have run dry, and in some cases police are having to escort tankers to petrol stations.

In Spain, farmers are leaving fruit to rot on trees – there is little point picking it as there are no trucks to take the produce to market. Dairy farmers are pouring hundreds of litres of milk down the drain for the smae reason. There is now talk of setting up a skeleton service collection and delivery service for the agricultural sector.

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