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June 9, 2008

Spain Begins To Face Gas Shortages

The anger over the lack of affordable gas has caused massive protests in Spain. These protests have led to a trucker strike which has left gas stations in Madrid and the northeastern Catalonia running dry. The protest began at midnight Sunday and have left about 15 percent of the capital’s gas stations without fuel.

90,000 truckers are participating in the strike and they are blocking roads throughout the country. Truckers are responsible for transporting goods, including fuel all over Spain. With gas costing more in Europe than it does other places in the world, the truckers that are on strike are angry over some of the highest prices in the world. The theory behind the strike is to cause enough stoppage of commerce in the country as they can. The stalling of everything is the goal of the trucker strike.

Although the strike is only affecting some of the country, by mid week it is expected to cause problems with the food supply. Good news for the truckers may be on the way. Saudi Arabia called for a summit with other oil producing countries. The hope is that some type of resolution or plan can be constructed to bring the cost of fuel down.

How long will it take for the Spanish strike to make a huge dent in Spain? Depending on how long it goes on, Spain could find itself in serious trouble. Without shipments of food and other essentials, the country will begin to turn hostile because people will not be able to take care of themselves. Other countries in Europe and elsewhere may catch on and start strikes of their own.

Fishermen are also striking because of the fuel costs. Their strike began May 30th and started off with just the fisherman that worked on larger vessels. However, now the fishermen that worked on the smaller vessels are also striking. It seems that no matter how big your car or ship is, you are feeling the crunch of high fuel prices.

The Development Ministry officials in Spain gathered together for meetings. Although they had not reached an agreement or solution yet, the representatives are taking the strike very serious. They actually met twice in one day.

Oil pries have dropped in Asia over the past week to under 124 a barrel. However that has not helped reduce the amount of oil in other parts of the world. With oil over 135 a barrel, what is being paid at the pump in Europe is absolutely outrageous.

What exactly can be done to reverse the climb of oil prices? When I really think about it, I realize that there is no limit when it comes to oil. The price can continue to get higher over time. The solutions seem distant but surely there must be a way for the price of oil to be leveled off. Would the removal of SUV’s help? Are the hybrids that are becoming more and more popular the answer or are these cars not as fuel efficient as we think they are? There seem to be no easy answers when it comes to fuel prices.

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