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Truckers cause jams in Athens October 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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Protesting truck drivers parked some 50 large fuel-transport vehicles along a highway north of Athens yesterday and caused long traffic jams in many parts of the capital as they demanded that the government drop plans to liberalize the haulage sector.

The fuel trucks were parked along the Athens-Lamia highway in Metamorphosis, seriously hampering traffic in both directions on the National road. This also had a knock-on effect on the Attiki Odos, as cars were stuck in line to get onto the National road. This also caused traffic to back up at the junction to the Athens-Corinth highway, where another 25 fuel tankers were also parked.

The city’s fragile traffic system was stretched even further by student protests in the center, delaying many drivers by more than an hour.

The truckers want the Transport Ministry to withdraw plans to allocate more permits to drivers in the heavily regulated sector. They claim it would have a negative impact on the environment and traffic.

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.

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Comments

1. Maria - October 19, 2007

I could not agree more with this article. As I watched the news today, I saw how truckers were hassling private truck drivers as they passed their protest, throwing punches, yelling and spitting at them. Don’t they realize by acting this way, they loose any credibility to their case?


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