Monday, September 20, 2010

Greek Freight Drivers Strike Continues

Stalemate as Government and Hauliers Dig In
Shipping News Feature

GREECE – Following our report last week outlining the situation surrounding the grievances of truckers and their refusal to collect and deliver freight around the country, a review of the situation this week shows that the drivers and government have both become even more entrenched regarding possible compromise.

As the strike enters its second week between 800 and 1000 commercial vehicles remain parked along essential sections of main highways skirting the Greek capital and beyond. The government reiterated today that they were resolved to liberalise the freight delivery sector infuriating the drivers who have paid for the previously exclusive licences.

In fact the government appear willing to grant permission for any private carriers to intervene ensuring that vital supplies are delivered. This will undoubtedly cause even more anger amongst the hauliers who see the disruption to tourism caused by the impact of the strike on fuel supplies as key to wringing a deal from the authorities.

The government are meanwhile hamstrung by their commitment to the international bodies which are currently bailing them out of their excruciating financial shortage. Expect military intervention if neither side blinks, with the potential for confrontation, possibly even violence. These factors will irritate an already difficult situation in that tourists from neighbouring European countries, whose currency is an important factor in the Greek economy, will not consider holidays in the region until the situation is resolved.