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 Post subject: Spanish truckers block border in fuel protest
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:53 am 
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We think gas is expensive here, look at what it is costing in Europe!

Spanish truckers block border in fuel protest

PARIS: Gasoline at $4 a gallon? If only.

As prices across America hit an average $4 a gallon over the weekend, European motorists, truckers and economic planners wrestled with fuel costs around twice as high, blamed not only on the soaring price of oil but also high government taxes levied at the fuel pump.

That has made few people happy. In the latest show of distress, Spanish truckers Monday began a blockade of their country's border with France, lining up their rigs in a crawling strike to protest the cost of diesel. In France, farmers on their tractors did the same, offering a foretaste of a planned national strike by truckers next Monday.

The rising European anger may well be matched by the price of oil, according to Jeffrey Currie, the global head of commodities research at the investment bank Goldman Sachs. At an oil and gas conference in Malaysia on Monday, he suggested oil prices are likely to hit $150 a barrel this summer, surpassing the record of $139.12 last Friday, Reuters reported.

"I would suggest that the likelihood of that happening sooner has increased tremendously - sometime in the summer," Mr. Currie was quoted as saying. "Demand for oil is weak but supplies are even weaker."In Spain, tens of thousands of truckers launched an indefinite campaign of blockades and demonstrations at midnight to protest diesel prices, up by one fifth this year to around $8 per U.S. gallon, depending on where it is bought and the levels of official discounts available in many parts of Europe to truckers, farmers and commercial fishermen.

The protests provoked clashes between supporters and opponents of the action. Spanish television showed the trucks of alleged strike-breakers with their windshields and headlights smashed and tires slashed. Spanish truckers said the price of diesel - which varies among European countries -- was now 1.30 euros per liter, roughly $7.73 per U.S. gallon, compared to 0.95 euros per liter, around $5.58 per U.S. gallon, one year ago. At highway filling stations, diesel can cost 1.5 euros per liter, or $8.90 per gallon.


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