French Truck Owners, Farmers Block Petrol Depots

September 5, 2000 - 0:0
PARIS Truck owners blockaded petrol depots and oil refineries across France on Monday in protest against high fuel prices, raising the prospect of shortages at petrol pumps if their action lasts long.
The protesters started blocking roads leading out of depots with their trucks at midnight and settled in with food for a protracted stay. Some farmers and ambulance drivers were also taking part.
By 11 a.m. (0900 GMT), the Federation of Road Hauliers (FNTR) said access to 60 oil depots and 10 refineries was cut off, though the Paris region was spared.
Farmers added a colorful rural note to their demonstration, releasing flocks of sheep in central Strasbourg.
The protesters were also blocking river oil terminals in Strasbourg and Lyon, and stopping trucks delivering fuel to the airports of Mulhouse-Basel and the Riviera capital Nice.
FNTR head Jean-Paul Deneville said the protest would be "long and hard" and would worsen until the government met demands for tax cuts to reduce the price of diesel fuel by almost 20 percent.