The law must be enforced

Owners of public utility trucks blockaded the national highway with their enormous vehicles, causing traffic congestion and chaos in the entire area. At the same time, a student protest march – which could easily have been confined to one lane of the road – closed off the capital city’s center for hours yesterday. These two events brought the nightmare back to Athens. Millions of people are stripped of their constitutional right to free movement because a handful of unionists feel that the only way to make their point is to hassle their fellow citizens. However, stopping or parking on highways is strictly prohibited by the traffic code and protests in downtown Athens should abide by a modicum of rules. But when union chiefs and student leaders display zero social sensibility, it is up to the state machine to show zero tolerance to infringements of law. The state must enforce the laws it has itself enacted. The right to protest may be sacred, but the right of citizens to move around freely and enjoy a higher standard of everyday life is sacrosanct.