By ELOISE WALTON
LORRY DRIVERS in Portugal ended their protests against the high cost of fuel on Thursday following negotiations last night with the minister for public works, transport and communications, Mario Lino.
Lorry and truck drivers who had gathered across the country have now accepted the ten measures proposed by the government, bringing to an end the protest that had started at midnight on Monday.
These measures included a reduction of tolls of between 30 and 50 per cent, support for new company vehicles and for the destruction of old vehicles and subsidies for professional training.
A special method for the payment of VAT was also agreed upon, as well as the freezing of lorry taxes for three years, an allowance of 30 days for the payment of bills to transporters and the right to deduct fuel expenses from annual tax returns.
The government has also agreed to freeze the tax on petrol products for one year as well as giving permission for the price transporting cargo to be increased comparatively with the increases in the cost of petrol.
This agreement however, excluded three of the lorry driver’s main requests, which were professional diesel, fiscal equality with Spain and the exemption of tax on expenses.
After many petrol stations across Portugal were emptied of fuel yesterday by people panic buying, the fuel supply is now being restored to normality.
Galp Fuel Company told Portuguese news agency Lusa that almost 100 per cent of their petrol stations have been re-filled.
A spokesman for Lisbon airport also said “everything is running within the normal parameters.”