Monday, June 09, 2008

MEANWHILE, in Spain:
Gasoline at $4 a gallon? If only.

As prices across America hit an average $4 a gallon over the weekend, European motorists, truckers and economic planners wrestled with fuel costs around twice as high, blamed not only on the soaring price of oil but also high government taxes levied at the fuel pump.

That has made few people happy. In the latest show of distress, Spanish truckers Monday began a blockade of their country’s border with France, lining up their rigs in a crawling strike to protest the cost of diesel. In France, farmers on their tractors did the same, offering a foretaste of a planned national strike by truckers next Monday.
Spanish truckers have also started a indefinite national strike. I haven't watched the news yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were picket lines, as always. In fact, my newspaper morning delivery has yet to arrive as I write this, at 1:20pm (yes, I know it's a bit old-fashioned, but I can't help reading one print paper a day, to get the feeling of what's going on... ads included).
I called the subscription department and they said they did have pickets this morning.

And it's going to get worse by the day: gas pumps are going to go dry in a couple of days, and food in markets is likely to be scarce; everybody has been stocking extra groceries this weekend, but if it lasts for a while, it's gonna be... fun.

Anyway, those guys should be protesting at the Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, UAE embassies, and not create a mess for everybody, not turning the whole country upside down in the hope thatt he government gives them some subsidies. Why don't they raise their prices, as we all do when our costs raise? Yes, it would hurt the consumer eventually, since the increase would pass along the chain, but it would allow us to either clench our teeth and pony up, or change our habits. Neither of the two possibilities sounds as holding the whole country hostage, does it?