Blocked borders, fuel pumps running out of gasoline, supermarkets that don't get fresh produce supply ... these are just a few of the consequences of a strike by Spanish and French truckers against high diesel prices. The strike is taking place this week. Currently, diesel prices are around €1.30/liter in Spain and €1.45 in France (that translates to $7.71 U.S. and $8.62 a gallon, respectively. You can see energy prices for all EU country members here). Those prices might be high compared to other countries, but that's not all that's not all the drivers are mad about: diesel prices have jumped up 40 percent in less than a year.
Major cities in Spain such as Valencia, Madrid or Barcelona suffered traffic jams because of demonstrations where trucks were driven at low speeds, making getting around difficult for other vehicles (the picture above shows one of Barcelona's main entry, the C-58 highway). The two main borders between Spain and France, La Jonquera and Irun, were also blocked and demonstrators prevented any truck from crossing. In response, the Spanish government offered an agreement to the Freight Unions. It includes a flexible fare system where transport could reflect fuel prices directly, as well as other measures like subventions for early retirement.
Related GalleryEuropean Truckers Strike - June 2008
[Source: El País]