The Spanish government and the truckers reached an agreement early Friday morning, after more than 12 hours of meeting, to try to put an end to the truckers' indefinite strike that began on 14 March and that now threatens the supply of some products.
The parties agreed on a package of measures that will force the State to spend more than 1,000 million euros.
But the agreement was reached by the government and the big transport employer's association, without the participation of the platform that called the strike (Plataforma en Defensa del Transporte de Mercancías), that claims to represent may self-employed truck drivers.
This platform was not invited to the negotiation by the Minister of Transport Raquel Sánchez, who even called its members 'far-right' at the beginning of the indefinite strike.
The organizers consider the bonus of 20 cents per liter insufficient and on Friday demanded 60 cents per liter. Therefore, the truckers' protests are scheduled to continue.
The main obstacles in the negotiation were the amount that carriers could receive as a bonus for professional diesel and the way in which these aids would be applied. Finally, the discount will be 20 cents per liter, of which the State will pay 15 cents and the oil companies a minimum of 5 cents per liter.
The agreed bonus of 20 cents per liter will be in force from 1 April to 30 June, although it may be extended depending on how the energy markets evolve.
700 euros per month
The agreement was announced by Minister Raquel Sánchez at a press conference after the meeting, around 2 a.m.
The measure is similar to those applied by other countries such as France, Italy and Portugal, which from April 1 will offer discounts of between 15 and 30 cents per liter.
The government estimates that with 20 cents per liter, each truck could save 700 euros per month. It will cost around 600 million euros, according to calculations by the Ministry of Transport.
To this amount should be added 450 million in direct aid for freight and passenger transport companies depending on the type of vehicles. The amounts will be 1,250 euros per truck, 950 per bus, 500 per van and 300 per light vehicle (taxis, VTC and ambulances).