Italian truckers protest diesel prices; country at a standstill

| Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Italy, a three-day-old strike by thousands of truckers who are protesting high diesel fuel prices has shut down much of the nation’s economy.

Bloomberg reported that truckers have blocked highways and stopped deliveries of everything from gasoline to food and medical supplies.

Italy’s largest manufacturer, the car maker Fiat, laid off 22,000 workers on Tuesday, Dec. 11, because it can’t get parts.

A housewife in Rome is quoted as saying, “The supermarket shelves are empty.”

A cab driver said, “Italy is on its knees.”

Fuel prices in Italy have climbed more than 10 percent in one year. The striking truckers want relief from the government, but they defied a back-to-work order after talks with the government broke down.