Oil prices hit a new record today, coinciding with renewed protests across Europe at the soaring cost of fuel. Hundreds of truckers brought Operation Snail back to roads in France, reducing major routes to a crawl. But, in a gesture to other road users and to school students starting exams, much of the disruption was launched after the morning rush hour.
Andre Fernandes, Ile de France regional president of the UNOSTRA hauliers’ union, said: “Today we have returned to Operation Snail. We do not want to hold a full blockade because we know what is happening today. But in other countries diesel is subject to lower taxes and is cheaper than here. We have the most expensive fuel.”
Similar go-slow action was seen in Spain, where drivers want Madrid to step in with subsidised diesel. Lorries converged on the capital, but police refused to let them pass, corralling them in service areas around the city. Drivers’ leaders called the police operation a ‘kidnap situation’ but called off any further action for the foreseeable future. But they warned of more strikes if the government fails to help.