Spain’s truckers get gas price cut but some keep striking

Mar 24, 2022, 3:26 PM | Updated: Mar 25, 2022, 9:10 am

Truck drivers protest against the high price of fuel, in Madrid, Spain, Friday, March 25, 2022. Spa...

Truck drivers protest against the high price of fuel, in Madrid, Spain, Friday, March 25, 2022. Spain's government and the country's main trucking federations have reached an agreement on financial help for the sector that is hurting from high gas prices. But self-employed truckers said Friday they would continue their 12-day strike. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s government and the country’s main trucking federations reached an agreement Friday on financial help for an industry hurt by high gas prices, but self-employed truckers said they would continue a 12-day strike.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has helped drive gas prices higher in Europe, making it more expensive for truckers to fuel up.

Also Friday, scores of farmers on tractors drove slowly along a main road near the Spanish capital of Madrid to protest the “brutal increase” in fuel prices and low prices they are still getting for farm produce. The Madrid region farmers also complained that the price of fertilizer, much of which in the past they say has come from Ukraine, has climbed around 300%.

After 12 hours of negotiations with truckers that ended after midnight, Spain’s Socialist-led government announced it is discounting 0.20 euros per liter of gas (the equivalent of $.83 per gallon) for trucks as part of a package of measures worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). A liter of gas for truckers currently costs around 1.80 euros (the equivalent of $7.50 a gallon).

Spanish Transport Minister Raquel Sánchez said the discount would translate into savings of around 700 euros ($771) a month per truck. The government said it would also provide 450 million euros ($495 million) in direct financial aid to road haulage businesses, as well as special credit terms.

Yet the Platform for the Defense of the Road Transport Sector, a group that is not affiliated with Spain’s larger national trucking associations or road haulage companies and does not sit at the sector’s negotiating table with the government, called on its members to continue their strike and to attend Friday’s the street protest in Madrid.

The group said it would not budge from its demands, which go beyond gas prices. It claims that large distribution companies engage in unfair competition, forcing down the prices for freight, and is seeking better working conditions for truckers, including being allowed to retire at 60.

“After 12 days, we’re not going to throw in the towel. It’s now or never,” the Platform said on its Facebook page.

The truckers’ strike has disrupted supply chains and brought scattered shortages of fresh products such as vegetables, milk and fish. Thousands of police have escorted truck convoys and arrested picketers trying to stop working truckers.


Follow all AP stories on the effects of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

21 hours ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

2 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

2 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

3 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

4 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

5 days ago

Spain’s truckers get gas price cut but some keep striking