The prospect of a shutdown of the tax offices for the last days of 2011 prompted hundreds of Greeks on Wednesday to rush to settle last-minute issues before the strike. Many handed over their car license plates, preferring to keep their vehicles off the highways instead of paying a recently hiked road tax.
Late Thursday, a lower court ruled the strike illegal at the request of the Greek government, obliging the tax officials to show up for work Friday. It was not immediately clear how the strikers would react. Unions have sometimes defied similar orders in the past.
The Athens Chamber of Small Industries said it sent a letter to the country’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, urging a change in the higher road tax and arguing it was clear the government would be unable to collect the €1.2 billion ($1.55 billion) it hoped for from the levy.