Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Italy's fuel protests may spread

Italy has virtually ground to a halt after fuel protests brought chaos to the country’s roads. The third day of blockades by lorry drivers has resulted in shortages of petrol and diesel and a shortage of goods in supermarkets [BBC]. The protests are likely to spread across other parts of Europe as lorry drivers threaten to block refineries elsewhere. This week it was reported that British lorry drivers were threatening to blockade fuel depots in response to the increasing prices of diesel [The Times]. In the UK the average price of diesel stands at £1.08 per litre. If blockades do occur, it will be the first major action since 2000 when panic buying and dry forecourts nearly brought Britain to a standstill. Transaction-2007, which is coordinating the action, say on their website “A date of Saturday 15th December 2007 at 10:00 a.m has been decided for protest action. This date was decided by members as the best possible to enable those who would normally be working during the week to attend. This action will be initiated at a refinery or storage depot somewhere near you. Anyone wishing to support action is requested to make your way there at the allotted time. Transaction again wish to emphasise the importance of legal protesting.”

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