Farmers, lorry- and taxi drivers protest in Brussels
Protest against rising fuel prices in Brussels may cause traffic delays...
18 June 200808
BRUSSELS - The agriculture and transport sectors are protesting against the rise in fuel prices in Brussels on Wednesday. Farmers and lorry drivers have been joined by taxi drivers, all unhappy with the spiralling price of diesel.
The mass convergence on the capital led the police to warn against travelling into the city by car Wednesday, but during the morning rush hour traffic was lighter than usual.
The road hauliers' association UPTR is protesting at the hike in fuel prices. Farmers’ organisations including 'Boerenbond' are demonstrating in favour of higher prices for their produce.
Ahead of the start of the demonstration at 10:30 AM the demonstrators took their vehicles in convoy through Brussels to the various rallying points.
Walloon farmers are driving their tractors to the Jubel Park. In the vicinity of Namur the police tried to prevent tractors from joining the motorway.
Some tractors managed to get onto the motorway and in the end the police had to let them use this highway to drive to Brussels.
In Brussels tractors were blocking some of the main thoroughfares and junctions. Lorry drivers and taxi drivers were also converging on Brussels
All protesters say that their intention is not to erect blockades in Brussels, but significant disruption was expected for many hours.
Federal police deployed significant numbers of staff to marshal the traffic.
Eight hundred police officers were said to be keeping an eye on the traffic.
On Tuesday Transport Secretary Etienne Schouppe (Flemish Christian democrat) spoke with transport sector representatives. He told them that there was no scope for a reduction in duty or VAT on fuel.