updated 6/3/2008 9:54:57 AM ET 2008-06-03T13:54:57

Truckers and taxi drivers slowed traffic around Paris' business district to a crawl Tuesday in a protest over rising fuel prices, and hundreds of fishermen demonstrated in London to demand government help.

Dozens of trucks and taxis in Paris drove slowly toward and around the headquarters of oil giant Total SA in La Defense, site of the main financial district, to protest a new tax on heavily polluting vehicles.

Authorities said the operation snarled traffic on several highways.

Farmers elsewhere in France blocked ports and oil terminals as part of protests started by fishermen last month demanding government aid to help compensate for high fuel costs.

Fishermen in London
Fishermen from around the United Kingdom demonstrated in central London on Tuesday to demand their government's help in coping with soaring fuel prices.

Hundreds of fishermen gathered outside the London headquarters of the department responsible for food, seeking financial support for an industry they say is especially vulnerable to rising fuel costs.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organizations, said the cost of fuel for fishing boats was making it impossible for many in the industry to keep going.

"Boats are going out to sea and fish for five days in terrible conditions and we're not getting enough to even pay our crews," he said.

World oil prices have been climbing for months, and topped US$135 a barrel on May 22. They have since fallen slightly but remain at near-record levels.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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