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Fuel at the heart of European protests

 Fuel at the heart of European protests
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Hundreds of Shell fuel tanker drivers in Britain are beginning a four day strike over pay. Last-ditch talks to avert the action broke down late last night. The Unite union condemned the Anglo-Dutch oil giant for making monthly profits of 1.3 billion euros while refusing to cut a deal with the drivers.

The haulage firms contracted to deliver fuel supplies say they have offered pay rises of 7.3 per cent backdated to January, which have been rejected. It is feared the strike will cause chaos on the forecourts as motorists stampede to the pumps in a spate of anticipated panic buying.

Dutch truck drivers yesterday took to the roads in a noisy go-slow in protest at rising fuel costs across Europe. Truckers there displayed illuminated road signs urging motorists to honk their horns in solidarity as they called on the government to reverse a diesel tax hike.

In Spain, violence flared as striking lorry drivers attacked those still working, prompting the prime minister to announce a zero tolerance policy warning that threats against strike breakers were unacceptable.

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