Supplies to the Balearics have been delayed. | Curro Viera


The Balearic Freight Transport Association estimates that it will take some three weeks to get supplies of goods from the mainland back to normal.

The association's president, Ezequiel Horrach, has welcomed the agreement reached between the Spanish government and employer representatives on the National Road Transport Committee (CNTC), but points out that "as much as we are in a hurry", there are logistical issues with ship cargoes. There is only so much that a ship can carry.

He has reassuring words for the public, pointing to the association's own agreement with the Balearic government not to strike from this coming Monday and suggesting that there will be no pickets at ports on the mainland, meaning that supplies to the islands are guaranteed.

But while the national agreement for a cut in the price of a litre of fuel and direct government aid to the transport sector was made with the main employer groups, it did not include the Platform for the Defence of the Freight Transport Sector. It is this group, comprising self-employed truckers and small businesses, which has been chiefly responsible for strike action and picketing.

Representatives from this group finally managed to get a meeting with the national minister of transport, Raquel Sánchez, on Friday. After it ended, the president, Manuel Hernández, said: "Unfortunately, we will be continuing with the strike." He added that the strike will end if the government can guarantee measures which will cover truckers for the costs of their work.

This is one element of the agreement with the CNTC, but Hernández points out that it will be dealt with under a "draft law" that the government has said will be presented no later than the end of July. He is therefore insisting on temporary measures to ensure that truckers aren't in the situation of having higher costs than what they receive in payment.

While Sánchez has urged them to resume normal activity from Monday, Hernández said after Friday's meeting that "if the minister does not offer the guarantees we are asking for over the next two days, the strike will continue".