The Transport Ministry is drafting legislation that is purportedly designed to regulate ride-hailing services such as Beat and Uber but that would effectively make it harder for them to compete with Greek taxi drivers.
The bill would require all companies offering such services to have a state license and to do business only with licensed vehicles (i.e. taxis). This would effectively bar the services of companies like Uber which work with nonprofessional drivers using private vehicles.
Those failing to meet those new rules would face steep fines, according to the draft bill, starting at 50,000 euros for a first offense, rising to 100,000 euros for a second and culminating in the disabling of the company’s website on a third offense, sources said.
The head of the Greek union of taxi drivers, Thymios Lyberopoulos, appears to have played a pivotal role in laying the groundwork for the legislative initiative, Kathimerini understands. It appears that Lyberopoulos lobbied the SYRIZA-led government to amend legislation to effectively restrict the taxi drivers’ sector in exchange for its support.
The founder of Beat (formerly Taxibeat), Nikos Drandakis, has described the government’s legislative drive as a “direct attack” on his company and others like it and has not ruled out taking legal action against it.