Friday, June 13, 2008

GLOBAL VIOLENCE, PROTESTS GROW OVER SOARING PRICES

MAIL ON SUNDAY Violence has flared across Europe as haulers, fishermen and taxi drivers protest against rising fuel prices they say are crippling their industries. Some of the worst outbreaks were seen in Spain where prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez pledged 'zero tolerance' of any disruption by 90,000 striking lorry drivers. His warning came after a driver breaking the strike was burned when his lorry was set on fire. . .

n Portugal, lorry drivers agreed to lift road blocks after their union accepted a deal with their government. But it followed the death of a man near Lisbon on a picket line. In France, haulers mounted protest drives on motorways. set alight in violent protests

Protests have now gone worldwide, with the Philippines and Thailand also seeing angry workers taking to the streets. . .

In Thai capital Bangkok, tens of thousands of heavy lorries threatened to cause havoc as farmers demonstrated and fishermen have begun burning their boats in nationwide protests against soaring prices of fuel and other essentials.

Lorry drivers' leaders have warned the government it has until next Tuesday to subsidise their fuel or face at least 100,000 vehicles rumbling into Bangkok. . .

One fishermen's group said more than half of the 50,000 fishing boats under its wing are being kept ashore because of the high cost of diesel.

Thai Airways International raised its fuel surcharges by up to 100 per cent on Wednesday due to the rising cost of jet fuel. . .

Opposition groups in Malaysia have vowed to push on with mass protests against a 41 per cent hike in petrol prices - despite a pledge from the Prime Minister to keep prices fixed for the rest of the year.

Also in Asia, South Korean lorry drivers voted to strike on Monday, ignoring a government aid package designed to cushion the impact of fuel prices.

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