Spain approves $551 million transport aid package, but truck drivers’ strike continues

© . Truckers perform slow march amid strike for better working conditions in Valencia, Spain, March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Eva Manez MADRID () -The Spanish government agreed to pay 500 million euros ($551.35 million) Monday for direct aid to the transport sector, hoping to end a strike by some truck drivers over rising fuel costs, but organizers said the strike will continue. “We are going to introduce a subsidy on the price of professional diesel so that this measure has a real and effective impact,” said Transportation Secretary Raquel Sanchez after meeting with the National Road Transport Committee. She said the measure was in line with similar actions taken in France, Portugal and Italy and would come into effect on April 1. The government will not cut VAT – value added tax – on fuel. Although the strike affects only a minority of drivers, it has caused massive traffic jams across Spain, forcing some factories to stop production because they could not guarantee deliveries would be received on time. The organizer of the strike, an association of truck drivers and small truck owners known as the Platform for the Defense of Transport, did not attend the meeting and said the government’s announcement was insufficient. Facing record diesel prices, drivers went on strike last Monday to demand lower taxes and lighter regulations, with some protests turning violent. “Until we negotiate the real issues facing small truck drivers, there will be no suspension[of the strike],” Platform president Manuel Hernandez told , adding that their main demand is to prevent that drivers incur losses when transport costs exceed revenues. Hernandez said the government’s proposals were “band-aids” that don’t address what he believes is a deeper wound. Asked about the continuation of the strike on Tuesday, Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calvino told a news conference: “These are positive measures for truck drivers and the platforms that would not support (the measures) clearly show that they protect the interests of these not defend the sector”. The government plan follows a consultation by the European Commission on a draft proposal for a temporary state aid crisis framework to support the EU economy in the context of rising global inflation, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Such support can come in any form, including guarantees, subsidized loans and limited grants to partially compensate companies, especially intensive energy consumers, for increases in energy prices, the EU said earlier in March. ($1 = 0.9069 euros) Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (Stocks, Indices, Futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and therefore prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price meaning prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes . Therefore, Fusion Media does not bear any responsibility for any trading losses that you may incur as a result of using this data. Fusion Media or anyone associated with Fusion Media accepts no liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any information, including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals on this website. Be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.

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