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Traffic trouble in Malaga as 150-coach protest demands public aid

More than 150 coaches set off around the city in a slow convoy.
More than 150 coaches set off around the city in a slow convoy. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • A demonstration which started shortly before 11am will tour some the main routes in the city causing queues and delays. Similar demonstrations are taking part in most of the Andalusian province capitals

"Forgotten" coach company owners and drivers are protesting across provincial capitals in Andalucía to demand public aid after the sector has been hit hard by the pandemic.

In Malaga around 150 vehicles gathered at the city’s fair ground before setting off in a slow convoy around some of the main routes which will likely cause delays for other road users.

Juan Mateos, vice president of the Malaga Transport Association (Apetam) has apologised in advance and said, “I am very sorry, it is not our intention to delay anyone but they are desperate measures.

“I hope people understand that we no longer know where to turn, we have knocked on all the doors and no one answers us. We are tired of being ignored.”

In Malaga the sector employs about 2,000 workers, with a fleet of about 1,500 coaches.

"We are working under minimum conditions, in partial Erte or with reduced hours, says Mateos.

Demonstrators are calling for moratorium on corporate debt; the creation of a support fund, an extension of the Erte scheme and a reduction in value added tax.

Without help to survive the pandemic restrictions the coach operators warn, “when tourism arrives again we will not be able to start."

Protesters have threatened to repeat the demonstrations until their voices are heard.