“The people have paid already through their taxes, so they should be able to travel for free,” said Konstantinos Thimianos, 36, an activist standing at the metro picket line in central Syntagma Square.
In one of their frequent occupations of the toll booths on the northern outskirts of Athens recently, protesters wore brightly colored vests with “total disobedience” emblazoned across their backs, and chanted: “We won’t pay for their crisis!”
The tactic has cropped up in the health sector, with some state hospital doctors staging a blockade in front of pay counters to prevent patients from paying their euro5 flat fee for consultations.
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“I don’t think it’s part of the Greek character. Greeks, when they see that the law is being applied in general, they will implement it too,” said Nikos Louvros, the 55-year-old chain-smoking owner of an Athens bar that openly flouts the smoking ban.
“But when it isn’t being applied to some, such as when there are ministers who have been stealing, … Well, if the laws aren’t implemented at the top, others won’t implement them.”