Ballooning Gas Costs Fuel Mass Protests in Europe

Hefty taxes double the pump price in US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 9:29 AM CDT
Trucks park on a section of a London highway during a protest against rising diesel prices and a planned 2 pence fuel tax rise, Tuesday, May 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – Skyrocketing fuel prices are hitting Americans hard, but drivers across the Atlantic are shelling out twice as much, Time reports. Europeans pay an average of $8.70 for a gallon of gas, and the hefty price hikes this year are leading to protests that threaten to shut down cities, ports, and whole sectors of the economy. Oil terminals have been blockaded by protesters.

Truck drivers, fishermen, and farmers across Europe say the price of fuel is driving them into bankruptcy and plan to step up their protests. Taxes make up 70% of the pump price in France and the UK, as opposed to 11% in the US. Proposals from EU states to suspend value-added tax on gas must be approved by all 27 members.