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Fishermen in Spain, Portugal and Italy Strike to Protest Fuel Prices

Thousands of fisherman from Spain, Portugal and Italy have gone on strike to join other European protests against soaring fuel prices.

Spanish fisherman say almost the entire Spanish fleet, the largest in Europe, remained in port on Friday. Trawlers and larger commercial boats also remained docked at ports across Portugal. And in Italy, about 12,000 fisherman joined the strike.

French fisherman have already been on strike for two weeks, at times blocking oil terminals and disrupting shipping traffic.

In Madrid Friday, fishermen gathered outside the Environment, Agriculture and Fishing Ministry, where they handed out more than 20 tons of free fish to try to win public support.

The fisherman say rapidly rising fuel costs are threatening their livelihoods.

Spanish Economy Minister Pedro Solbes told reporters Friday the government is looking into ways to help the fishermen but can not cut fuel taxes.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.