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Greek summer season hit hard by truckers' strike

Greek summer season hit hard by truckers' strike
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The military has been mobilised to make urgent fuel deliveries but as Greece’s truckers’ strike enters its seventh day, the country and those visiting it this summer, remain hard hit.

The islands especially are still suffering from fuel shortages. In Crete, people are making the most of it when they finally reach the front of the queue at petrol-starved filling stations. Precious supplies are being stockpiled by many who come equipped with large plastic containers.

Car rental firms are having to scour the roads to retrieve vehicles parked up by drivers caught short.

“The damage we are facing is unquantifiable.” said car rental company owner George Bamiadakis. “Our vehicles are disappearing because panicked clients who have run out of petrol and are scared of missing their flights are abandoning them.”

Hotels are also suffering with cancellations from both domestic and international travellers due to the ongoing strike. And Greece’s already embattled economy is also under further strain.

“We are facing catastrophe because we can’t load our products,” said George Gavalas of the Heraklion Agricultural Association at a grape processing plant on Crete.
“We have to stop harvesting. The grapes will overgrow and, as a result, we will not be able to sell them.”

The truckers are fighting plans to open up their sector to more competition. But, at what cost, many as asking, as Greece’s lucrative summer season risks turning sour.