Truckers Protest Against Insurance Hikes

     BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Hundreds of trucks, taxis and other commercial vehicles blocked a major square in the Romanian capital on Thursday to protest planned new insurance rates that truck drivers say are too expensive.
     Nearly 400 protesters parked their vehicles outside the government offices in Bucharest’s central Victory Square, snarling traffic in the city. They honked their horns and yelled “We won’t leave!”
     The drivers later tried to break through police lines to place a coffin and a wreath in front of the offices to symbolize the death of the transportation industry. Police called in reinforcements to guard the offices where Romania’s prime minister and other top officials work.
     Police reported traffic congestion around other Romanian cities as truck drivers drove at slow speeds to protest the higher rates.
     The government said Thursday it was not its job to resolve disputes between the truckers and state insurers. It told protesters to take their demands to the relevant agencies.
     Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos adopted an emergency decree Wednesday to temporarily freeze insurance rates, but the move did not appease the protesters.
     
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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