Brazilian truckers block roads, demand president quit

GMT 13:04 2015 Tuesday ,10 November

Arab Today, arab today Brazilian truckers block roads, demand president quit

Brazilian truckers block roads
Joao Monlevade - AFP

Truck drivers in Brazil blocked roads in several states Monday to demand a cut in diesel prices and the resignation of embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

The independent drivers' group behind the strike, the National Transport Command (CNT (LSE: 0OO6.L - news) ), urged truckers to grind the country to a halt to protest a government it said "has no more legitimacy" and "has ruined Brazil."

"Dilma has to go. We want her impeached. We'll be here until she leaves," said driver Andre Vilar Goncalves, 33, at a road block formed by some 300 trucks in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Rousseff, who began a new four-year term in January, has watched her approval rating drop to record lows as the world's seventh-largest economy has sunk into recession.

A political crisis has meanwhile engulfed her administration following revelations of accounting irregularities and a multi-billion-dollar corruption scheme at state oil giant Petrobras.

The opposition is seeking to impeach the 67-year-old president over accusations she took unauthorized state bank loans to cover holes in the national budget.

The striking truckers lashed out at Rousseff's government for three recent hikes in diesel prices.

But in a strike call issued on social media, the CNT said it was also defending "the dream of a better country, without corruption," where leaders "respect the will of the people."

The strike was rejected as politically motivated by two major transport unions, the National Independent Drivers' Federation and the National Truckers' Union.

Presidential spokesman Edinho Silva said the strike aimed to "politically damage the government."

Police said the strikers shut down roads in at least 10 states across the sprawling South American country, including the key economic hubs of Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Minas Gerais.


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