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Greek taxi drivers end strike

- by Archimedes

Greek taxi drivers end strike.

Greek taxi drivers have called an end to their 18-day strike which has seen roads, ports and airports in Greece and the Greek islands blockaded by hundreds of taxi cabs. Tourist visitors to Greece and the Greek islands have been forced to carry luggage long distances from airports and ferries as angry Greek taxi drivers blockaded roads and harbours in protest at plans to deregulate the sector.

Now taxi drivers' leaders have called off strike action following talks with 12 regional governors.
Cabbies were given assurances that no new licences would be issued before the government submits its liberalisation Bill later this year.

The cabbies are opposed to plans to deregulate their sector which will result in the introduction of an unlimited number of cheap licences. Taxi drivers argue that there should be limits on the number of licenses issued based on the population of each city.

The head of the taxi owners' union (SATA), Thymios Lyberopoulos, said: 'Society is demanding that there is some calm until the end of summer.

"I am sure they will heed this call because they realise that this is in their own interest. Their action has caused problems for tourism and Greece's image abroad.'

Many taxi drivers on the Greek islands called off strike action earlier this week following protests from tourism leaders over the effect of the blockades on Greek island holiday visitors.

Taxi drivers on the Greek holiday islands of Lesvos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Kos and Santorini abandoned stike action this week and put taxis back on the road.

It was estimated that taxi drivers on Crete were losing €100 euros a day by taking part in the strike during what is peak season for tourism.

But taxi drivers insist this is only a temporary truce and they will wait for the new Bill to be drawn up later this year before deciding on any further action.