Wednesday, 17 October 2018 | News today: 4

Sao Paulo declares state of emergency

134283902

Brazilian President Michel Temer ordered security forces on Friday to clear roads blocked by truckers staging a five-day-old strike that has left the country virtually paralysed.

“The government has had the courage to dialogue, the government will have the courage to exert its authority,” he said in a televised address.

The truckers pressed on with the strike Friday, despite a deal between the government and unions late Thursday to suspend the protest for 15 days.

The measure would allow city authorities to “seize private goods such as fuel, for example, that is stored in a service station,” the mayor’s office said in a statement, according to AP and AFP.

It also plans to set up a crisis committee and, if the shortages continue, may declare a public holiday.

Other measures that could be adopted include the suspension of non-essential administrative work to protect fuel reserves in the city of more than 12 million people.

The truckers have attempted to put a stranglehold on movement of goods in Brazil to protest fuel price rises.

The walkout has left much of the country virtually paralysed and caused acute shortages of food and fuel.