To liberalize the domestic trucking sector of Greece in the midst of continuing protests causing traffic chaos and conflicts with police, the Greek Parliament is set to settle passage of the controversial bill.
The liberalization of Greece's stiffly regulated sectors, such as trucking, is one of the adjustment the socialist government has pledged the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for a Ãƒ‚Ã¢Ã¢€Ã…Ãƒ‚¡Ãƒ‚¬110 billion ($145.59 billion) loan that it obtained in early May to avoid certain bankruptcy.
The passage of the liberalization bill will be assured by the government and main opposition conservatives, as well as several independent deputies, within a matter of hours for the final article by article vote, in parliament on Wednesday. The "in principle" votes have already been successfully cast.
For the time being, truckers maintained to stage a loud two-day protest outside the parliament in downtown Athens in the hope of thwarting the vote. About 250 truckers remained to protests outside the legislature and police have no choice but to make use of tear gas to break up the crowd and avoid violent encounters.
Two of the main and busiest highways around Athens were also barricaded by the drivers which aims to create traffic, confusion, and keeping commodities from being shipped to the countryside.
For a 10th straight day the truck drivers protested, even though a constitutional mobilization order has prohibited them from legally engaging in a strike, but the socialist government has been adamant in its conviction to pass the reforms.
Particularly, the trucking overhauls anticipate dispensing new truck licenses to fire up competition and cut back freight costs, but which would also extremely underprice the value of existing licenses in circulation, now worth between Ãƒ‚Ã¢Ã¢€Ã…Ãƒ‚¡Ãƒ‚¬90,000 and Ãƒ‚Ã¢Ã¢€Ã…Ãƒ‚¡Ãƒ‚¬200,000 each.
Truck drivers are using every muscle they legally can to put a stop to the anticipated depreciation and value erosion of their license assets and prevent foreign competition from entering the sector. The truck driver's protests may continue in the days to come despite the final vote and passage of the law, because they are also calling for preferred tax treatment and shaped up pension entitlements.
Albeit the truck driver's protest has proven once and for all to be notably disruptive, many analysts are afraid the strike see similar protests coming from other spoiled rotten professional groups working in Greece's so-called closed professions. Those group include pharmacists, lawyers and engineers.