Government Mobilizes Truckers In Effort To End Strike
ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The government issued a mobilization order Friday for 40,000 striking truck drivers, but their federation said they would ignore the order and continue the strike, now in its 20th day.
In a statement announcing the order, Premier Andreas Papandreou said his socialist government had decreed the civil mobilization of the truckers ″to protect the smooth operation of economic activities.″
The government has the legal right to mobilize strikers when essential services are disrupted, but the Greek Federation of Truck Drivers said the strike would continue. Government officials declined to say what their next step might be.
Police in the western port city of Patras said Friday that ″hundreds″ of trucks remained parked alongside the national road to Athens, but there were no disturbances.
Earlier in the week, the strikers used their trucks to block highways outside Patras and in northern and central Greece to prevent deliveries by foreign truckers to Athens.
″The truckers are letting foreign drivers through today,″ a Patras police spokesman said.
There are shortages of milk, sugar and fresh vegetables in Athens because of the strike and gas stations throughout Greece have reported they are running short of fuel supplies.
The truck drivers are demanding reductions in freight taxes, highway tolls and pension contributions and an increase in transportation fees. They also oppose new Finance Ministry regulations requiring detailed records of their operations.