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European Fishermen Strike over Fuel Prices

Thousands of fishermen are striking in Europe over the cost of fuel. The movement began a few weeks ago in France as fishermen on the Atlantic coast refused to work. They say they can't afford to power their boats.

Now the French strike has spread to Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

In Madrid, thousands of fishermen are marching at the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday. As part of the demonstration, they're expected to give away 20 tons of fresh fish.

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Drivers in America have blanched at paying $4 a gallon for gas. Thanks to a government subsidy, Spanish fishermen are paying about the same — but it's still more than they're willing to fork over.

"They say that in the past five years, their fuel prices have gone up 230 percent," says reporter Jerome Socolovsky. "But in the past 20 years, the price of fish has remained pretty much stable." The fishermen blame cheaper fish from overseas for the stagnant market value of their catch.

The fishermen aren't alone in striking. Farmers and truck drivers have also been on the picket line.

A fishmonger says his supply will run out next week if the strike continues, Socolovsky reports. The fishermen are asking for further government subsidies and relief from taxes on gasoline.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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