Taxis, gas station owners join action

There will be no taxis serving the capital today and gas stations will be closed in the latest spate of strike action in protest at the government’s austerity measures. Taxi drivers object to plans to make them issue receipts, keep account books and pay tax according to their income, despite the government’s decision to postpone until 2011 the implementation of these measures, originally planned to take effect immediately. Cabbies staged two 24-hour strikes last month and have pledged to continue their action until the government satisfies their demands. Gas station owners, also on strike today, are protesting plans obliging them to install cash registers and also object to increases in fuel tax. Some petrol station owners claim that the fuel hikes have prompted countless Greek motorists to cross the border into Bulgaria to fill up on cheaper fuel. The gas station owners have also threatened rolling strikes. Continuing action by employees of the Public Power Corporation caused brief electricity shortages in parts of Attica and elsewhere yesterday. The PPC employees are protesting a freeze on scheduled hirings as well as bonus and holiday pay reductions. Ongoing work stoppages by doctors yesterday led to an increasing number of state hospitals operating on emergency staff. Unionists said they were planning to scale up their action after Health Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou failed to satisfy their demands for immediate disbursement of outstanding pay for additional duty hours worked by doctors. Tomorrow there will be no news or live programs on any radio stations as technicians stage their own strike over planned changes to their collective work contract.

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