NEWS

Cabbies to extend action indefinitely

Protesting taxi drivers, who on Monday launched a 48-hour strike to protest plans to liberalize their sector, decided on Tuesday to extend their action indefinitely, warning that they would continue with rolling 48-hour strikes unless the government revokes its decision to lift all restrictions on the number of taxi licenses issued.

By late Tuesday, Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis had not responded to the taxi drivers? appeal. Government spokesman Ilias Mossialos announced however that the government had not shifted its position and called on New Democracy to clarify its own stance on the reforms amid allegations that the conservative main opposition party was instigating the protest.

ND did not respond, instead describing Ragousis as ?the architect of chaos? for withdrawing a previous draft law which only placed some limits on the issuing of taxi licenses.

The cabbies? action, which entered its third day Wednesday, has created frustration for thousands of holidaymakers at the height of the tourist season.

Outside Thessaloniki, drivers tried to block roads leading to Macedonia International Airport but were stopped by police.

Protesting cabbies staged blockades at several ports including Iraklio on Crete, Patra, Kyllini and Katakolo in the Peloponnese, preventing thousands of visitors from boarding and disembarking cruise ships.

Meanwhile several cruise liners that had been due to dock at the country?s main port of Piraeus opted to sail on to other ports such as Nafplio which were not under blockade.

Athens cabbies, who on Tuesday marched to Syntagma Square, were on Wednesday morning planning to stage a protest rally outside the Transport Ministry on Mesogeion Avenue in northern Athens.