Truckers' protest in Santiago de Compostela on Monday. | Efe (Lavandeira jr)

1

The Spanish government has agreed a tax discount estimated to total 500 million euros in order to compensate for the rising cost of fuel. Applicable from the first of April, this measure was announced by the national minister of transport, Raquel Sánchez, following a Monday meeting of the National Committee for Road Transport, which is said to represent 85% of the companies in the sector.

The discount is on the so-called 'professional diesel' tax. While Sánchez estimated the value to be 500 million euros, there will be a further meeting on Friday to specify the exact amount.

Despite this agreement, the Platform for the Defence of the Freight Transport Sector, the principal movers behind the hauliers' strike, says that it will continue with its action. The president of this group, Manuel Hernández, is insisting on a meeting with the minister. "We will continue indefinitely until she deigns to meet this organization."

He adds that the platform has not had any communication from the transport ministry regarding attempts to find a solution to the current situation. The underlying problem, Hernández says, is that they are being "left out" of discussions.

One of the demands is legislation to protect the operating costs of trucks. "We do not have any type of solution. They (the government) have to offer to talk to the workers in the sector."