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    Greek Truckers Step Up Government Vote Protest


    by NTDTelevision

    Greek truckers line the streets outside the nation's capital, as they prepare to march on parliament in protest of a vote to deregulate their trade.

    Greek truckers step up their protests, with drivers from around the country congregating on Tuesday.

    They are participating in "sit-ins" - truckers line their rigs along roadsides, refusing to work, some of them blocking traffic.

    Others rally within the nation's capital Athens.

    The protests come ahead of a government vote on a bill that will deregulate their trade, allowing more licenses to be issued and more drivers to enter the profession.

    After recent talks with the drivers, the government has conceded to raise the values of their licenses.

    But truckers want the whole bill rescinded, and the government has refused.

    [Ilias Mikriotis, Truck Driver]:
    "What we are asking for is fair, we are not asking for favours, we paid for (our licenses) no one gave them to us, we are not asking for something illogical."

    Over 30,000 truckers striked over the summer in protest of the government's plans, but they were broken up after six days when a court ruled their strike illegal.

    The liberalization of their sector comes as part of the economic reforms required by a multi-billion euro EU/IMF bailout plan.

    Parliament plans to vote on Tuesday, and the bill is expected to pass on Wednesday.