Spain set for roads blockade over fresh fuel row

24th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 October 2005, MADRID — Just a day after a blockade of all Spain's ports by striking fishermen was lifted, farmers threaten to close all the country's roads in a fresh row with the government over fuel subsidies.

28 October 2005

MADRID — Just a day after a blockade of all Spain's ports by striking fishermen was lifted, farmers threaten to close all the country's roads in a fresh row with the government over fuel subsidies.

Pedro Barato, of the Association of Young Farmers, said a blockade of all the country's roads will take place unless the Socialist government offers farmers more state subsidies before 15 November.

The threat comes as miners and steel workers also threatened national strikes next month.

Farmers claim they have lost EUR 4 billion this year alone because of the rising cost of fuel and Spain's worst drought since 1947, which has decimated crops.

Earlier this week, fishermen closed almost all Spain's Mediterranean ports, preventing cargo and cruise ships from docking and leaving markets without fish.

After 18 hours of talks on Wednesday, Elena Espinosa, minister for agriculture, fisheries and food, announced a deal had been reached with fishermen's unions.

The deal included a subsidy of EUR 0.09 per litre of diesel fuel. Fishermen had been holding out for EUR 0.13.

On Wednesday, about 5,000 tourists were caught when traffic between Barcelona and the Balearic islands was halted and ferry services between Malaga and North Africa were suspended.

Two ferries with 700 passengers on board were also prevented from leaving Valencia in eastern Spain.

Barcelona's port authorities say the blockade was costing the industry about EUR 2.9 million a day.

Until 30 September, the subsidy had been six euro cents a litre.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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