Brazil hopes for end of truck strike on eighth day

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) (AFP) –


A truckers' strike paralyzing fuel and food deliveries across Brazil entered an eighth day Monday but with hopes of relief after unpopular President Michel Temer caved in to the strikers' key demand.

Road blockages by truckers remained in place across 21 of the country's 27 states, G1 news site reported.

Although there has been some relief since the army was ordered to intervene Friday, with armed soldiers escorting fuel trucks on priority routes, enormous lines continued to form at gas stations.

Many supermarkets still struggled to source fresh food and there were eight airports reporting Monday that they were out of aviation fuel.

But after agreeing Sunday to slash diesel prices, the government hopes the crippling standoff can now wind down.

"The expectation is that the demonstrations will end and the truckers will return to work today," said Temer minister Carlos Marun on CBN radio. "There are still some blockades but the protest strike has been resolved."

According to Marun, those still resisting represent "an anarchic, radical movement which we believe will not succeed."

The crisis has exposed the surprising fragility of Latin America's biggest economy and put Temer's lame duck administration on the defensive ahead of October general elections.

Truckers are angry over the rise in costs from 3.36 reais (92 US cents) a liter in January to 3.6 reais before the strike. On May 26, it hit 3.8.

After urgent negotiations with representatives of the truckers, Temer agreed to cut the diesel price by 0.46 reais a liter for 60 days.