The Unió de Pagesos farmers union has confirmed that it will be organising a series of protests throughout September because of the high price they have to pay for diesel oil. The union's co-ordinator, Joan Mas, said that they would include a tractor protest similar to one which paralysed traffic in Palma earlier this year. The final details have yet to be decided, but it will probably end outside the government representative's office in Palma, as the central government is blamed for not doing anything to stop the continual rises in petrol and diesel. The reason why a date has not been set is that the union is planning to take part in a meeting on a national level over the next few days. Both the union, and the other farmers' association, FAGB, belong to national organisations which are planning to negotiate a calendar of protests. Mas said that his union planned several demos on its own, but wanted to wait for the main calendar so that the tractor demo could be tied in and would have greater repercussions. Between March 1999 and March 2000, the diesel oil used by farmers has gone up by 50 percent, while other diesel oils have gone up by 21 percent and petrol between 28 and 29 percent. Mas said that more than 13 pesetas per litre goes to Madrid in taxes and one of the sector's demands is that this tax should be dropped. The Union has also accused the suppliers of having got together to fix prices and wants the government to set special prices adapted to the sector's needs. The FAGB supports these last two demands and its president, Fernando Dameto, said that the sector was both angry and worried.

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