Fuel deliveries to resume as strike wanes

Talks to end a strike by customs officials, which has left dozens of gas stations without fuel, ended in a stalemate last night but there are hopes that negotiations would continue over the weekend and that petrol deliveries would resume very soon. Customs officials have been on strike since Tuesday and decided yesterday to extend their action until next Wednesday, when they will join in a general walkout. The present action has led to dozens of gas stations in Attica being left without fuel. The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) held talks yesterday with customs representatives in a bid to end the action but no agreement was reached. EBEA said it was hopeful it could talk the public servants around by tomorrow. The customs officials are protesting planned changes to their social security benefits as well as cuts to their salaries. There were signs, though, yesterday that participation in the strike was beginning to wane and that by Monday only a few unionists will still be staying away from work, which would mean that fuel deliveries could resume normally. Already yesterday, fuel tankers were headed for Thessaloniki, where only one in five customs officials was on strike, to fill up with gas that would be distributed in Attica. The fuel shortage has caused the price of gas to skyrocket. The average price of unleaded fuel in Athens was 1.23 euros per liter yesterday. The highest price recorded was 1.34 euros.

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