Striking Greek truckers clash with riot police


Several hundred truckers faced off with Greek anti-riot police Thursday in front of the transport ministry in Athens, one day after the government ordered them back to work.


Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, as the strike went into its fourth day.

Workers have demanded a meeting with Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas, says AFP.

Wednesday talks with his deputy broke down, but Greek news agency ANA says the truckers are scheduled to meet with Reppas Thursday afternoon.

The truckers went on strike over state plans to boost competition in the freight sector. They believe reducing new licence charges is unfair to existing drivers, who have already invested up to 300,000 euros in start-up fees.

Cutting license fees is just one part of a larger reform plan the Athens government signed onto in May, in exchange for a loan package from the International Monetary Fund and European Union worth 110 billion euros.

Since then, Greece has had to agree to unprecedented budget cuts so it can tap into desperately needed IMF-EU funds and avoid default on its nearly 300-billion euro debt.


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