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Greek truckers planning day-long work stoppage

From Elinda Labropoulou, For CNN
  • Truckers in Greece plan a day-long work stoppage
  • The disagreement is over license fees

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- Negotiators for the truck-drivers union and the Greek government failed to make progress in talks over operating licenses Tuesday, and the truckers are planning a 24-hour work stoppage on Wednesday, according to Greek media reports, citing the union.

Truckers parked rigs Monday on several of the country's main highways, usually blocking a single lane of traffic and causing delays. Some trucks remained in place Tuesday.

The truckers say that spurring competition in the freight sector by reducing new license charges is unfair to existing operators who have already paid higher fees. The existing truckers want a longer transition period before opening their profession to new truckers

A weeklong truckers' strike in July created a fuel shortage. The government at the time ended up requisitioning fuel trucks to end the strike since the country was practically out of fuel.

A constitutional emergency back-to-work declaration was issued, preventing truckers from declaring another strike, so they are holding rolling 24-hour stoppages instead.

The expansion of professions such as truck driving is among the government's top priorities. Not doing so would go against European Union regulations.

EU and International Monetary Fund experts are in Athens to see if Greece is meeting its economic targets to avoid bankruptcy, a possibility that has reverberated globally.