Morocco truckers, taxi drivers, strike as fuel price spike over war in Ukraine

AFP , Tuesday 8 Mar 2022

Moroccan truck drivers are observing a three-day strike in protest at spiralling fuel costs, a union said Tuesday, as oil prices spike over Russia's war in Ukraine.

Moroccan taxi
Moroccan taxi drivers take part in a strike to protest spiralling fuel coasts, in the capital Rabat, on March 7, 2022. AFP

Around three-quarters of drivers are observing the strike, said Mounir Benazouz of the SNPTR truckers' union. Taxi drivers took part of the strike too.

Four other unions have also joined the action which ends Wednesday.

"We are calling on the government to put a ceiling on fuel prices and the profit margins of distributors because the situation is becoming more and more critical," Benazouz said.

He added that the strike could be extended unless the government responds.

The interior ministry said Tuesday it had taken measures to "ensure the free circulation of people and goods".

In a statement, it said striking was "a right guaranteed by the constitution" but vowed to "act firmly against any attempt to breach the peace or undermine the rights of non-strikers".

The transport ministry did not immediately reply to AFP's request for comment.

The government of Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch has for weeks been facing growing unrest over mounting living costs, with price hikes on fuel and other essential goods sparking demonstrations across the North African kingdom.

Inflation, spurred by rising global commodities prices, topped three percent year-on-year in January, prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Moroccan farmers are also suffering the effects of a long drought which has battered a sector that contributes about 14 percent of gross domestic product.

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