French fishermen resume Marseille oil blockades
Fisherman resume blockade of oil depots despite government’s EUR 110-million-aid package and fishermen’s leaders to call off protests.22 May 2008
PARIS - Striking fishermen resumed a blockade of oil depots near France's largest port of Marseille on Thursday despite a EUR 110-million-aid package from the government to cope with high fuel prices.
Fishermen demanding government compensation for rising diesel prices clashed with police and disrupted cross-Channel traffic on Wednesday as they stepped up their two-week blockade of French ports and oil depots.
Fishermen's leaders called for an end to the protests after the government promised to release this year EUR 110 million (USD 173 million) out of a promised EUR 310 million package.
Frederic Mateo, from a union representing Marseille trawler crews, said the government promise was not enough to cushion the cost of diesel fuel, which has shot up to EUR 0.70 euro a litre, from EUR 0.40 in November.
Mateo said that fishermen had resumed a blockade of the area's four main oil depots, at Fos-sur-Mer, Berre, La Mede and Lavera.
Fuel trucks were able to fill up overnight, however, and make a round of deliveries to service stations in the region, warding off the risk of fuel shortages, local officials said.
[AFP / Expatica]