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The BBC's Paul Anderson
"Protesters say this is not the beginning of the end"
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The BBC's James Rodgers in Brussels
"It is very difficult for traffic to get in and out of the city"
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OPEC General Secretary, Rilwan Lukman
"We are concerned these protests are taking place"
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Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK
Fuel protests continue across Europe
Lorries block a main street of Brussels in protest
The mood in Brussels is one of no compromise
European capitals have been brought to a standstill by continuing protest against high fuel prices.

Blockades are still in place in many cities, as truck drivers try to force government to reduce the price of fuel.

A European Union delegation will discuss ways of stabilising oil prices when they meet foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including biggest crude producer Saudi Arabia, later on Wednesday.

In the UK, petrol tankers began moving on Tuesday evening after tankers were given police escort, with Prime Minister Tony Blair saying the situation to return to normal on Wednesday.

Maintaining the pressure

In the Netherlands, truck drivers disrupted traffic around Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Belgian driver
Drivers in Brussels continued action for a third day
In Germany over 200 lorries, buses and taxis drove to the border to France. Lorry drivers say they will block the country's transport network on Thursday.

Belgian drivers continued a third day of action on Tuesday, with truckers and taxis set up barricades in major streets around the city centre and in the southern cities of Charleroi and Nivelles.

Belgian protesters say they will keep their barricades in place for as long as it takes to force their government to climb down.

One protesting driver said: "One week, two weeks, three weeks - no problem."

Irish and Spanish drivers have warned they will join the protest later in the week if nothing is done.

No change

Fuel hot spots
UK - police enforce the flow of fuel after PM warning to protestors
Belgium - three depots hit, Brussels under siege
Netherlands - road tunnels blocked
Italy - refinery blockaded
Germany - action set for Thursday
Spain - farmers call protests next week
Irish Republic - drivers demand cuts by Friday
Norway - protests in Oslo
Poland - drivers discuss action
The wave of protests began in France, where blockading drivers won a 15% cut in fuel duty.

But other countries - including the UK and Germany - have insisted that the protests will not force a policy shift.

France has called for a meeting of European transport ministers next week to discuss the possibility of harmonising fuel prices and taxes.

"People must understand that these problems are complicated, and have to be solved together," said Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

Mr Jospin is expected to discuss the issue with Kuwait's oil minister, Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, on Wednesday.

The French authorities are working on a comprehensive plan to save energy in response to the surge in world oil prices.

Oslo protest
Wintry scenes in Oslo as drivers staged a protest
A big day of action involving a wider group of protesters is being planned for Friday.

Transport companies say they are joining forces with farmers, fishermen and other groups.

They say a three-fold increase in crude oil prices has brought huge windfall profits to governments.

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See also:

13 Sep 00 | Europe
European press review
12 Sep 00 | Europe
In pictures: Going nowhere fast
11 Sep 00 | Europe
France looks for energy savings
11 Sep 00 | UK
Fuel price cut ruled out
05 Sep 00 | Europe
Europe faces fuel dilemma
06 Sep 00 | Europe
Analysis: A very French blockade
11 Sep 00 | Business
Oil price bounces back
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