Truckers to press on with protest

Protesting truck drivers said yesterday that they would press on with a struje that has caused two weeks of traffic disruption and led to widespread shortages of supplies, complaining that the government has failed to make good on its promises to them. «The document we received from the Transport Ministry does not correspond to the commitments that had been made to us,» one union representative told Kathimerini, referring to pledges made by Minister Dimitris Reppas regarding the truck drivers’ tax and social security contributions. A spokesperson for the ministry denied the existence of any discrepancies between Reppas’s original pledges and those sent to unionists in writing. The head of the truck drivers’ union, Giorgos Tzortzatos, visited the ministry to clarify the matter but was reportedly not received by officials. Both his members and those of the fuel truck drivers’ union met again last night to discuss how to continue with their action. Meanwhile, at the country’s main port of Piraeus, a large number of truckers clashed with police for a second day yesterday as the protesters sought to stop fellow truck drivers from boarding ferries with goods bound for the Aegean islands. Lines of trucks remained parked alongside highways in the outskirts of Athens and Thessaloniki. The lines were smaller than they had been last week but the presence of the trucks near busy junctions continued to cause traffic disruption. The truckers’ action has also paralyzed deliveries and is causing an estimated 5 million euros in losses per day for businesses. Some 5,000 containers are sitting at Piraeus waiting for collection.

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