Truckers cause jams in Athens

Protesting truck drivers parked some 50 large fuel-transport vehicles along a highway north of Athens yesterday and caused long traffic jams in many parts of the capital as they demanded that the government drop plans to liberalize the haulage sector. The fuel trucks were parked along the Athens-Lamia highway in Metamorphosis, seriously hampering traffic in both directions on the national road. This also had a knock-on effect on the Attiki Odos, as cars were stuck in line to get onto the national road. This also caused traffic to back up at the junction to the Athens-Corinth highway, where another 25 fuel tankers were also parked. The city’s fragile traffic system was stretched even further by student protests in the center, delaying many drivers by more than an hour. The truckers want the Transport Ministry to withdraw plans to allocate more permits to drivers in the heavily regulated sector. They claim it would have a negative impact on the environment and traffic.