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The fuel is over, the exporters revolt and the customs agents continue their strike

19 February 2010 / 15:02:16  GRReporter
2390 reads

The biggest part of the gas stations in the large cities are left with no gasoline and in the weekend is expected that the situation will get even worse. Great problems are created by the strike of the customs workers and of Piraeus port as well as the export companies who are threatened by huge fines because of failure to perform obligations.

In order to make it easier on the consumers the companies are offering to allow the opening of the warehouses and the export of fuels for which the tax has been paid. However according to the legislation of the country in order to take these fuels out of the warehouses the presence of the customs agents is obligatory. That is why at present is being discussed the option to take out the fuels from the warehouses with the permission of the minister of finance Georgios Papakonstantinou and without the mandatory presence of the customs agents as far as this is possible.

The strike caused also a traffic jam on the Piraeus port – the ships have problems entering and exiting the port as well as the loading and unloading activities and the traffic of goods to and from the port are very difficult to carry out. “2000 containers daily do not reach their destinations” says the chairman of the National confederation of the Greek traders Vasilis Korkidis.

Yesterday at noon even 2 500 passengers of a large ship making a cruise of the Mediterranean were held for hours on the deck without being allowed to leave the ship. Until late at night the harbor authorities were trying to find a solution and to reach to an agreement with the customs agents, however they remained firm.

Very much affected by the strikes are the traders at the Piraeus port as well as many companies dealing with export as well as the entire market in Greece because of the lack of fuel. The customs are functioning only with emergency staff who are dealing only with activities related to import and export of products of first need and of national importance.

“The government has to take the responsibility and the customs agents and the other social groups should realized that we are in a very difficult situation” notices in a statement of the management of the Association of the exporters from North Greece who want the strike to be terminated and the governmental decision regarding the VAT to be canceled. At the customs are being held products which are raw materials and are necessary for the functioning of thousands of companies and the owners of the export companies are threatened by the impose of heavy fines after claims from their foreign partners.

After the six hours meeting, which was held yesterday, the customs agents decided to continue with 48 hours strikes until the next Wednesday and in this way they want for the government to cancel the decision regarding the 10% cuts of the allowances which they receive and regarding their special taxation.

Besides the customs agents, today was announced a 24 hours strike by the taxi drivers in the entire country because of the change in the payments of the taxes. In the strike it is expected to also take part the owners of 33 000 trucks and 1 300 cisterns for liquid fuels who have called a general meeting.

Tags: News strikes customs agents taxi
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