French truckers, taxis stage fuel protest in Paris
The latest protest on a major motorway west of the French capital caused severe congestion on roads around La Defense business.3 June 2008
PARIS - French truckers and taxi drivers caused traffic chaos for Paris commuters Tuesday when they staged a fuel protest go-slow on a major motorway west of the capital, officials said.
The protest, the latest in a string of fuel demonstrations in recent weeks across France, caused congestion on roads around La Defense business, turning what should be journeys of a few minutes into trips that lasted more than an hour, said officials at the CNIR traffic authority.
"We have besieged the A86" highway, said Gilles Mathelie-Guinlet of the French truckers group OTRE.
He said around 80 lorries and dozens of taxis were taking part in the protest, but the traffic authority said just 20 trucks and a dozen taxis had participated.
There were further protests across the country Tuesday, with farmers and truckers blockading oil depots near Marseille in the south and at Marmande in the southwest.
Along the English Channel, farmers blockaded 16 petrol stations belonging to the Total oil group.
Tuesday's protests were the latest in weeks of demonstrations calling for government intervention to help both truckers and fishermen deal with soaring fuel costs due to historically high oil prices.
[AFP / Expatica]