Protesting truckers clear some roads in Brazil amid talks

Reuters , Sunday 27 May 2018

Truckers attend protest in Brazil
Truckers attend a protest against high diesel fuel prices at BR-116 Regis Bittencourt highway in Sao Paulo, Brazil May 26, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

Truck owners removed their vehicles from some key roads in Brazil overnight and early on Sunday as local and federal governments worked on a new proposal to end a nationwide protest that has caused wide disruption to transporting grains and fuel.

President Michel Temer met with government ministers and with some state-level officials early on Sunday in Brasília to discuss proposals to resolve the trucking strike.

The proposals include a 10 percent discount on diesel prices for at least 60 days. The federal government would compensate state-run oil company Petrobras SA for any losses from reducing prices.

Truck owners also want toll operators not to charge rear axles that are not in use, such as when trucks pass by the tolls unloaded.

Some trucker groups hinted at accepting those terms late on Saturday in a meeting with the local government in Sao Paulo, home to some of the largest protests.

As a goodwill gesture, trucks started to leave blockades at the Regis Bittencourt federal road, the main corridor linking Brazil's southeast and south regions.

Local media reported on Sunday morning that fuel was starting to reach gas stations in some major cities in the country.

But there were still several blockades in key roads in the nation, hurting the flow of basic supplies and hampering basic services such as trash collection.

Oil workers, who say they support the protests and oppose Petrobras pricing policy that closely tracks international oil market, announced a strike at refineries for Wednesday.

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