One of the great advantages of sitting in Figueres, in the north eastern chunk of Spain near France is that you get to see things like the trucker’s strike live and first hand when you make day trips up to France. This strike is a big deal. The truckers are essentially choking off all supplies in to Spain as well as not moving any goods, and more importantly, fuel, through the rest of Spain. But, don’t take my word for it, let’s dip in to some BBC-esque language from Nigel Nigglebits, which you can hear a recording of below.
Farce aside, it goes to show that it only takes two days before all hell breaks loose in a 21st century society. The lines at gas stations are massive as everyone fears that gas supplies will run out. Minor goods are indeed starting to run out at smaller shops and while the tourism season is just starting in Spain, if there’s a lack of gas for people visiting, you can be sure that cheap French, Brits, Dutch, and Germans won’t be making the trip to Spain this year for inexpensive alcohol and beaches, which as great as that may sound, will take an enormous toll on a country that is already starting to have economic problems from a housing slowdown like we’ve seen in the US.
But, it’s interesting to see the mentality that prevails here in Europe. As this same problem has been hitting the US in the airlines, where they just pass on the fuel cost increases and then some to the consumer, the truckers aren’t doing that. They are trying to maintain their prices without killing the consumers. Yes, the strike is not good for the society at large, but the strike is looking more longterm and seeing that there needs to be some form of regulation or inflationary problems will persist. It’s dreamy to have this kind of thinking and it’s dreamy to see that people are forcing the government to take action as opposed to how we in the US always feel we have to take things on ourselves because the government won’t. Someday we might remember that those in office are actually there to serve us.
This will supposedly be resolved this week, but in the meantime, it’s going to be a lot of staying home and not going anywhere too far, since with 40% (and climbing) of the gas stations running out of gas, extra travel is not advisable. Oh, and for those who are complaining about gas nearing $5 a gallon in the US, it’s nearing $10 a gallon in Europe.
The Spanish Truckers' Strike Hits Home