Cabbies plan protest in front of Parliament

Taxi driver are planning a large demonstration outside Parliament on Tuesday to protest the government?s plans for the total liberalization of their sector.

The protest is being timed to coincide with the meeting of ruling PASOK?s transport committee.

A move by Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes on Friday to order the on-the-spot arrest of taxi drivers who obstruct roads, ports or airports had little effect over the weekend as cabbies continued their protests against the government?s liberalization plans.

Taxi drivers took over tollbooths at various points on the national highway network on Saturday – allowing motorists to pass for free – and on Sunday forced guards at the Acropolis to shut down the ticket office so visitors could enter the grounds of the ancient monuments without paying.

The cabbies have asked for a meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou but the premier has not responded.

Amid rumors of disagreement within the ruling party about the way the opening up of the sector is being handled, Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas, with whom the cabbies had reached an agreement over liberalization when he was at the Transport Ministry, said he disagreed with their action and rejected claims he had been critical of his successor Yiannis Ragousis.

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