NEWS

Protesters occupy toll stations

Hundreds of protesters gathered at toll stations across the country on Sunday, forcing open barriers and allowing motorists to pass through without paying.

The protests, which peaked between noon and 3 p.m., are part of a broader initiative by citizens who are refusing to pay road tolls or purchase public transport tickets.

A spokesperson for the crowd that gathered at the Afidnes toll station, north of Athens, said that demonstrators did not simply object to the increase in toll charges but that they demanded the revocation of the contracts signed between the government and the consortia who are to manage the country?s national roads. ?We pay higher taxes on fuel and road tax for maintenance works. We are not going to pay through the nose for toll charges too,? said Stratis Loupatatzis.

Last week Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis provoked vehement protests from opposition parties after suggesting that the government should show some ?understanding? for a growing number of citizens? movements that have united under the ?I won?t pay? banner. ?Laws must be enforced,? he said. ?But there has to be a balance between the strict enforcement of a court decision and social reality.?

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