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Spain offers fuel subsidies to end truckers’ strike

MADRID (AFP) – Spain on Friday offered a rebate and a one-time cash payment to end a truckers’ strike over soaring fuel prices that has led to food shortages in supermarkets nationwide.

But the main trucker group behind the protests rejected them as insufficient and vowed to keep up its work stoppage.

The government offer includes a rebate of EUR0.20 per litre of fuel and a one-time EUR1,250 payment per truck, Transport Minister Raquel Sanchez told reporters, adding that the total cost to the state would be around EUR1 billion.

“The vast majority of truckers want and need to work. With this agreement we are offering them the possibility to do so,” she said after talks with transport associations which represent the bulk of the sector.

Drivers and truck owners belonging to a group called Platform for the Defence of Transport have since March 14 been blocking roads and ports to draw attention to the rise in fuel prices, fuelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The strike has disrupted supply chains in several industries and caused sporadic shortages of perishable food such as eggs and dairy products in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy.

The group, which did not take part in the talks with the government, swiftly rejected the measures.

The strike has disrupted the supply chain in many industries. PHOTO: AFP