FRESH fruit and vegetable suppliers in Murcia fear a grave loss of earnings after 3,000 lorries from the region have been stuck at the French border following Catalan separatist demonstrations.
Each driver is estimated to be losing between €350-500 a day for their respective businesses after the AP-7 was blockaded in La Jonquera from Monday, November 11, in protest over last month’s jailing of nine Catalan politicians.
The protests called by social media phenomenon Tsunami Democràtic saw 1,500 activists block the main transport artery between Spain and northern Europe in a bid to force Madrid into dialogue over Catalan independence.
The 3,000 lorries from Murcia are among an estimated 20,000 trapped for two days at the French border, which has hurt the Spanish economy to the tune of an estimated €10 million.
But Costa Cálida suppliers are fearing longer-term impacts that northern European buyers could turn to Italy or Greece due to political instability in Spain, according to the general secretary of Murcian transport workers’ federation FROET Manuel Perezcarro.
Perezcarro added that Murcian businesses had already seen up to €1.5 million-worth of losses – not accounting for spoilage when the lorries eventually reach their destination.
He called upon the government to take ‘strong action’ to ensure the disturbances do not continue.