Cabbies try new tactics in strike action

In an effort to assuage criticism that their strike is harming Greek tourism at such a critical time for the debt-ridden country, taxi drivers, who have been on strike for over three weeks, on Tuesday ferried cruise passengers from Patra port to historical sites and landmarks for free after days of blocking tour buses from doing the job.

In Athens however, cabbies, who are opposed to the government?s blueprint for the liberalization of their sector, blocked sections of Mesogeion Avenue on and off through Tuesday morning as they sought a meeting with Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis.

On Monday, Ragousis had sent a circular to local authorities, compelling them to impose penalties against taxi drivers who violated of the Highway Code, including stripping them of their license in the case of repeat infringements.

In Thessaloniki, taxi drivers went so far as to set a cab on fire, while they also marched through the center of the city, bringing traffic to a standstill, and in Crete, they occupied the entrance to the archaeological site of Knossos, allowing visitors free access.

Ragousis is due to brief Parliament?s economic affairs committee on Tuesday afternoon as to his stance on the issue, and cabbies are expected to hold some form of protest on Syntagma Square.

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