French truck drivers block Total La Mede refinery

PARIS, June 3 Tue Jun 3, 2008 6:18am EDT

PARIS, June 3 (Reuters) - Protesting French truck drivers and farmers on Tuesday blocked the fuel depot of Total's (TOTF.PA) La Mede refinery near Marseille and a fuel depot at Lyon in protest over high fuel costs, Total said.

Fishermen, farmers, ambulance and taxi drivers have taken it in turns to block French refineries and fuel depots to put pressure on the government to lighten their fuel costs.

Oil prices have doubled in the past 12 months to around $130 a barrel.

"Our La Mede refinery depot has been blocked since yesterday," a Total spokesman said of the 155,000 barrels per day plant.

"Around 10 trucks are blockading the entrance." he said, adding the refinery was working normally.

Another fuel depot in Lyon was blocked by protesters, he said.

"We are there to stay several days," said the head of the young farmers' union, which is part the FNSEA, France's largest farming union.

The price rise in products such as milk or meat was not enought to offset the rising price of fuel, he added. (Reporting by Muriel Boselli; additional reporting by Catherine Lagrange)