Transport minister to meet taxi drivers

Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis is expected to meet with unionists representing taxi drivers from around Greece on Thursday. The meeting follows a 24-hour strike by cabbies which ended at 5 a.m.

The drivers are protesting plans put forward by Ragousis for the sector?s liberalization. According to the Transport Ministry?s draft law, anyone wishing to apply for a taxi license will be able to do so.

According to taxi drivers unionists, Ragousis?s plans are vague and will add tremendous strain to a sector which is already suffering losses due to the current financial situation. They claim that the country?s already registered 30,000 taxis are enough to meet public demand.

Instead, cabbies are asking for the implementation of a presidential decree previously announced by Ragousis?s predecessor, Dimitris Reppas. This plan, which had received the go-ahead by Greece?s creditors, noted that liberalization would be accompanied by a number of rules, including the issuing of a limited number of new permits.