A protest in Lugo, Galicia. | Europa Press


The Spanish government has brought forward a meeting scheduled for Friday to Thursday, at which it will present a series of measures to mitigate the impact of fuel prices on the road haulage sector.

This latest attempt by the government to end a dispute that is now into its second week will involve three ministers - Nadia Calviño, the economic affairs minister and first deputy prime minister; María Jesús Montero (finance); and Raquel Sánchez (transport). Government sources suggest that Calviño will not be leaving the negotiating table "until there is agreement".

On Monday, various measures were proposed, notably a tax discount for diesel estimated to total 500 million euros. However, specifics for this were lacking. These will now be given at the Thursday meeting.

The government wants "concrete and defined measures" to be arrived at through dialogue with the employers who the government describe as "legitimate representatives of the sector". It is referring to the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC), on which employers' groups represent some 85% of the sector.

However, this sidelines the minority of self-employed truckers and small businesses who comprise the Platform for the Defence of the Freight Transport Sector. It is action taken by members of this platform that has been the principal cause of shortages because of delays in supplies. A grievance of this group is that the government hasn't entered into any dialogue with it.

Following the meeting on Monday, Fenadismer, Fetransa and Feintra, the three main employers organisations represented on the CNTC, reiterated that they would not be joining the hauliers' strike but did give associates the freedom to stop work until concrete measures are announced.