BRASILIA Ė Brazilian trucker unions extended on Wednesday their strike to protest against high fuel prices into a third day, affecting the supply of key products in several cities.
The strike continued in nearly all of Brazilís 27 states, despite the fact that President Michel Temerís administration announced a plan to reduce taxes on fuels to attempt to contain the rise in prices.
Truckers parked their vehicles along major highways and in some cases interrupted traffic, which has especially affected the populous, heavily industrialized Sao Paulo state.
The strike has also affected the Port of Santos, considered to be the busiest container port in Latin America, as truckers partially blocked access to it.
Sources confirmed that in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the countryís two largest cities, the supplies of gasoline and other key products, including some foodstuffs, have started to dwindle.
The truck driversí strike has even affected the postal service, which suspended express deliveries.
The government, which has begun negotiating with the unions, said that is had reached an agreement with Congress to eliminate taxes on diesel to contain the rise in fuel prices.
Finance Minister Eduardo Guardia, however, made the elimination of taxes on diesel conditional on eliminating some tax benefits, to avoid increasing the budget deficit.