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RAVENNA, Italy (LifeSiteNews) —For 4 days now Italy’s highways have been blocked by haulers of fresh produce for the recent 25% rise in already high fuel prices that are hurting the country’s economy.

The Sicilian truck haulers’ association Asias began protests in the south of Italy on February 21. As reported by Italian news site, the association explained that “the increase in diesel and AdBlue prices, the cost of tires and energy, together with the impassable roads, motorway tolls, and the shortage of drivers, has created a situation where haulers’ expenses have become unbearable.”

According to Crisi24, the road blockage “has most significantly affected the southern regions of the country in recent days, including in Sicily, Puglia, and on routes from Salerno to Reggio Calabria; similar convoy-style protests have also been reported on routes near the cities of Naples and Caserta in Campania Region, as well as near Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna Region.”

Furio Tuzzi, president of the Assoutenti association, stated, “The high cost of petrol is a drama that affects everyone, starting with consumers who pay twice the price increases at the pump, first through the cost of refueling, then with retail prices that rise due to higher transport costs.”

Last year Tuzzi voiced similar complaints to Prime Minister Dragi’s government for the high taxes imposed on Italian fuel, objecting, “it is intolerable that today on a liter of petrol every motorist pays almost 64% of taxes – on the diesel fuel is 60.7% – due to VAT and excise duties that no government has ever had the courage to cut or sterilize when there are strong rises in prices.”

The truckers’ protests are expected to affect shelf supplies and prices at markets throughout the country in coming weeks. So far, meetings on February 22 and 23 between the Italian government and representatives of the truckers’ and farmers’ associations have not produced any agreement or result.