LONDON -- The British and German governments said they would not give in to demonstrators who snarled traffic and blockaded refineries Monday to protest high fuel prices, and an OPEC decision to boost production did little to curb the demonstrators' anger.
"We cannot and we will not alter government policy on petrol through blockades and pickets," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.
Truckers, taxi drivers, farmers, tour operators and others who claim that high oil prices are hurting their businesses, continued their protests in Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.
Blair and German Transport Minister Reinhard Klimmt said their countries would not follow the example of France, which agreed to demands to subsidize fuel prices. Protests continued in scattered French cities, despite government concessions.
"The sensible way, the only right way to deal with this problem, is to put pressure on OPEC," Blair said.
For European motorists, a gallon of unleaded gasoline can cost more than $4 per gallon, a far higher price than in the United States.
A decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to raise production by 800,000 barrels a day, announced Monday, had no immediate impact on the protests, although it did send October contracts of North Sea Brent crude down 45 cents at $32.33 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange in London.
The German government also resisted the pressure.
"I see no reason at the moment why we should compensate for this through taxation," Klimmt, the transport minister, told ARD television.
The protests disrupted traffic across Britain, particularly in the north of the country.
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