Soaring fuel prices triggered further protests in France and the Netherlands, as fishing fleets in Spain, Italy and Portugal also joined in the spreading fuel strikes. (Report: N.Rushworth)
The issue of rocketing oil prices is a “hot topic” and calls for a reaction: that is all European ministers in charge of competitiveness could say in the face of growing protests at €125-per-barrel Brent oil prices. Little impressed, angered fuel users are now calling for concrete measures from
The same day, Portuguese and Italian fishermen joined the unlimited strike. Meanwhile in
French fishermen have now gone back to work, but they are still organising protests.
Reactions all over the world
European fishermen, farmers and hauliers are not the only victims of the crisis. In
Indonesian lawyers have filed a collective lawsuit against President Yudhoyono “in the name of the people”, to obtain compensation for soaring petrol prices.
Are speculators to blame?
Several governments have been trying to satisfy immediate demands by offering to boost supply or to reduce petrol taxes.
Opec replied that there was no need to increase oil production this year, though not every Opec member state agrees with this stance.
In all directions
Local measures have multiplied to complement international efforts. French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested that a cap be placed on VAT intake from petrol products. After a cool reception, the idea attracted interest from Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, who said it was “well worth thinking about”.
After promising fishermen state aid, the French government is now trying to satisfy hauliers. Junior Minister for Transport Dominique Bussereau announced that legislation would “compel customers to pay for petrol surcharges”.
The haulier’s response was a swift one: “This is only marketing aimed at convincing the opinion that the government is dealing with the crisis and at hiding the true facts,” the European hauliers organization OTRE said.
The British government has also been moving in all directions. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced his intention to boost oil production in the
The government is planning an information campaign as well as measures to improve home insulation and encourage on-site energy production.
Date created : 2008-05-30