Thousands of Spanish farmers became the latest in a long line of demonstrators taking to the streets of Europe and beyond in angry price-rise protests. They were demanding diesel tax cuts. Fuel costs are driving them out of business they say, by now a familiar refrain.
Protesters marched in Greece. In Israel truckers staged a go-slow, log-jamming rush-hour traffic and even Nepali students stoned cars and blocked roads over transport costs.
All over the world people are demanding action boosting fears of political instability and a global economic downturn.
Galician farmers say they are being forced out of business.
“With soaring fuel, grain, fodder and fertilizer prices all going up by 100 per cent in the last year, we don’t even make enough money to cover operational costs,” said Farmers Federation spokesperson Juan Orozco.
In Athens more than 2,000 demonstrators, organised by consumer groups, demanded an end to profiteering, targeting multi-nationals.
Street performers mocked the wealthy European elite and complained of low-pay.
Many people have been shunning corporations. Thanais Karpouzis said: “I’ve been boycotting. When they called for a boycott of milk and pasta I participated, but you can’t do that for too long. You have to drink milk, you have to eat, you can’t avoid it.”
Greece is witnessing the highest inflation the country has seen in a decade. Consistently above the euro zone average. Inflation hit a ten year high of 4.9 per cent in May, driven by soaring energy and food costs.
Greeks pay 12.9 per cent more for fresh poultry than a year ago and 26 per cent more for pasta according to official figures.