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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 September 2005, 19:35 GMT 20:35 UK
'Extra days' of fuel tax protests
Petrol price
Unleaded petrol costs more than 1 a litre in parts of the UK
Planned protests against the government's tax on fuel are to be extended, campaigners have said.

Protesters had threatened to block all UK refineries on Wednesday, as the price of unleaded petrol rose to more than 1 a litre in parts of the UK.

Organisers now plan to extend protests until Friday to coincide with the anniversary of the blockades that brought the UK to a standstill in 2000.

Chancellor Gordon Brown has ruled out tax cuts to ease forecourt prices.

Fuel Lobby spokesman Andrew Spence said the popularity of the planned protests had prompted a change of plan.

"It is on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in different parts of the country."

They are basically closing Calais on Wednesday, and they are wanting us to close Dover
Fuel Lobby spokesman Andrew Spence

Mr Spence said truckers in France and Spain were also planning protests in sympathy with demonstrations in the UK.

"They are basically closing Calais on Wednesday, and they are wanting us to close Dover.

"What we have done this last 48 hours by bringing this to the fore and bringing the government out on the issue - to me, it is a success in itself," he added.

Protesters in Wales plan to stage a 20mph rolling blockade along the M4 from 0700 BST on Friday.

If this keeps on we may as well put a match to all our vehicles
Alan Greene, of the Welsh Less Tax on Fuel Group

Alan Greene, of the Welsh Less Tax on Fuel Group, which represents coach operators, hauliers and farmers, said of rising fuel prices: "We just can't keep going.

"If this keeps on we may as well put a match to all our vehicles."

Matthew Carrington, of the Petrol Retailers' Association, which represents independents, who comprise about half of the market, said the protests would only harm motorists "suffering from high prices already", jobs and businesses.

What they are trying to do is cause pain to innocent third parties to make a protest to the chancellor
Matthew Carrington, of the Petrol Retailers' Association

He urged the organisers to "see sense".

"What they are trying to do is cause pain to innocent third parties to make a protest to the chancellor.

"They would do better to do it direct to the chancellor."

Dismissing the idea of government intervention to cut prices at the pump, Gordon Brown said that the current price spike was a "global problem that demands global solutions".

The chancellor called on oil cartel Opec to increase supplies and relieve pressure on prices.

He will discuss the oil crisis in a speech to the TUC on Tuesday.

Legislation introduced after the 2000 protests gives ministers and police significant powers to deal with demonstrations threatening to disrupt the supply of fuel.





SEE ALSO:
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Is Germany's economy recovering?
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