Spain agrees $551 million transport aid package but trucker strike to continue

MADRID (Reuters) -Spain’s authorities agreed to pay 500 million euros ($551.35 million) in direct help to the transport sector on Monday, hoping to finish a strike by some truck drivers over surging gas prices however organisers stated the strike will proceed.

“We’re going to introduce a subsidy on the worth {of professional} diesel in order that this measure has an actual and efficient affect,” Transport Minister Raquel Sanchez stated after assembly with the Nationwide Street Transport Committee.

She stated the measure was according to comparable actions taken in France, Portugal and Italy and would take impact from April 1. The federal government is not going to scale back VAT – worth added tax – on gas.

Whereas the strike solely includes a minority of drivers, it has precipitated big site visitors jams throughout Spain, main some factories to halt manufacturing as they might not assure deliveries could be obtained on time.

The strike organiser, a truck drivers and small truck house owners group affiliation often called the Platform for the Defence of Transport, was not current on the assembly and stated the federal government’s announcement was inadequate.

Confronted with document diesel costs, drivers went on strike final Monday to demand decrease taxes and lighter laws, with some protests turning violent.

“Till we negotiate the actual issues confronted by small truck drivers, there can be no suspension (of the strike),” the Platform’s president, Manuel Hernandez, advised Reuters, including that their key demand is to forestall drivers from incurring losses when transport prices are larger than revenues.

Hernandez stated the federal government proposals had been “Band-Aids” that don’t deal with what he argued is a deeper wound.

Requested concerning the strike persevering with on Tuesday, Spain’s Finance minister Nadia Calvino advised a press briefing: “These are optimistic measures for truck drivers and people platforms that might not again (the measures) are clearly displaying they don’t defend the pursuits of this sector”.

The federal government plan follows a session by the European Fee on a draft proposal for a state help non permanent disaster framework to help the EU financial system within the context of surging international inflation, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Such help could possibly be granted in any kind, together with ensures, subsidised loans and restricted grants to partially compensate firms, notably intensive power customers, for power value will increase, the EU stated earlier in March.

($1 = 0.9069 euro)

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, Jesús Aguado, Belén Carreño and Joan Faus; Writing by Nathan Allen and Joan Faus; Enhancing by Aurora Ellis and Jonathan Oatis)

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