40 tractors and trucks hit Palma.


Over 300 farmers and truck drivers along with 40 tractors and lorries yesterday marched on the Central Government Delegation in the heart of Palma as part of a national farmers' protest against rising fuel prices in Spain. Majorcan farmers warned that yesterday's day of action, which brought the centre of the city to a halt, is just an “aperitif” for what could develop into a winter of discontent in the Balearics. The Balearic fishing fleet, which has pledged its full support to the campaign and has seen its colleagues block the port of Barcelona for the past three days, disrupting Palma to Barcelona ferry services, remained in port in Palma yesterday waiting to see how the government responds before blockading the Balearics. En route from Mercapalma to the city centre rally, protesters picketed the CLH fuel depots with the secretary general of the Majorcan Farmers Union, Jaume Pocovi, criticising CLH over its monopoly in the Balearics. Pocovi claims that the price of diesel could be reduced by as much as 30 pesetas a litre. Pocovi also announced that central government has until October 12 to respond “otherwise there'll be a massive demonstration.” The Majorcan and Minorcan farmers union presented central government delegate Catalina Cirer with an official letter of protest. In the letter, farmers have demanded that the special fuel tax be abolished, VAT on fuel be reduced and fiscal assistance in order to help ease the burdens of the financial losses suffered this year. Catalina Cirer received the letter in person and even accepted an offer of sharing a bite to eat with the farmers and truck drivers who protested for some 30 minutes, bringing the Borne to a halt, after having brought the motorway from the airport to a near standstill as the protest trundled into town. Cirer said that she understands the demonstrators' demands and praised the way in which they carried off a peaceful protest. She also said that their demands will be sent to Madrid “straight away.”