Truckers strike looks over after petrol tax deal

18th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2005, MADRID — Spanish truckers and the government reach a deal to end an indefinite strike which had threatened to cut food supplies around the country.

18 October 2005

MADRID — Spanish truckers and the government reach a deal to end an indefinite strike which had threatened to cut food supplies around the country.

The strike, which involved 34,000 transport companies and 150,000 lorries, began at midnight on Monday.

It affected about 60 percent of the road transport sector in Spain.

But the government and truckers' unions have reached an agreement which will cut a tax which is levied by regional govenments on petrol stations.

Known as the 'centimo sanitario'- the health centime - it pushes up the price of petrol at a time when crude prices have risen around the world by record levels.

The tax is supposed to help pay for regional health services, hence its name. For the past month it has allowed regional authorites to charge 2.4 centimes per litre of petrol sold.

Dulsé Díaz, spokesman for CETM, which represents truckers, said: "We understand that this deal is positive we hope that the regions will accept it."

If the regional governments protest, the strike may go on.

Sources at Mercas, which controls food markets - the principle clients for most transport companies - said the strike had not had a drastic effect on food supplies.

But it has had a much bigger impact on the car industry.

Peugeot-Citroen and Mercedes were forced to stop shipment of cars from their plants in Vigo, in Galicia, Vitoria in the Basque Country and Barcelona.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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