Greek truck drivers end six-day strike

Greek truck drivers have voted to return to work, bowing to government
pressure and ending a six-day strike that caused nationwide fuel shortages.

“With a sense of responsibility and by a marginal majority we have decided
on the suspension of the strike,” George Tzortzatos, president of the Truck
Owners Confederation, said in comments broadcast on Alter TV channel in Athens
today. “From tomorrow, we will be back behind the wheel.”

The government last week deployed the military to ensure the delivery of
fuel and other vital goods after truck drivers defied a government order to
return to work. Truckers who contravened the ruling faced possible criminal
charges and withdrawal of their licenses. The strike has caused fuel shortages
amid the country’s key summer tourism season.

Tzortzatos said the decision was taken in return for the government lifting
the civil mobilization order and pledging discussions on a government law to
open up their profession.

About 33,000 truckers, including tanker owners, are protesting government
plans to open up the freight industry and issue licenses. The changes are a requirement
of a 110 billion- euro ($143 billion) loan package from the European Union and
the International Monetary Fund.