OPINION

On the taxi strike

If the taxis are not working they should be removed from the streets and impounded. They are commercial working vehicles and should not be blocking the streets nor parked on public streets. If they are, their tags should be removed and the vehicle put on sale at auction by the city or state.

Perhaps the taxi licenses should be revoked and offered at a reasonable price to new drivers.

If someone has a licence and refuses to use it, it is already useless. Are taxi drivers so wealthy that they can waste their investment? No sensible business owner would or could do that.

In addition, people who are willing to work are being prevented from making a living and paying needed taxes to help Greece through this crisis.

Homeowners have lost value on their houses, business are making less money, some have been forced to close down and lost years of their investment. Workers are receiving smaller salaries and even losing their jobs. Investment income is down and some investments lost, but the sacred investment in a taxi driver?s license must not be touched!

W. Carlyle Morris, Patra

What strikes me is that the taxi drivers have been to strike for days and days now, but nobody asks them how they manage without any income? Or do they get income from SATA?

If not, does no one want to question how they do it with an official average revenue of 12,000 euros/year.

Why does nobody ever ask the painful questions? Could it be that they work with enough black money to survive such actions?

If that is the case, not only are they destroying the tourist industry but, with their black money tradition, they are helping the country going down the drain.

It would be so nice to read a Greek journalist on this matter, instead of dull, complacent press.

Walter Kolman

Since the strike by the taxi drivers, six cruise ships have already visited Zakynthos, a port with a pedestrian connection to the city. Claims that the strike hits the tourism sector hard should be rephrased as ?strikes hitting the Athenian tourism sector.?

This is a decentralization of economic activity, without a government plan for it. In our household we refer to the strikes in Athens as ?the decentralization package.?

Reinder Rustema, Amsterdam and Zakynthos

This morning (Sunday), there were about 30 taxis on the rank at Rhodes airport. People may have not noticed the big blue and white cars as being taxis as they had taken their taxi signs off the roof.

The taxis drivers have been carrying fare-paying people during the dispute, on very expensive journeys, mostly in their private cars.

I believe this really highlights the nature of the taxi drivers and the legitimacy of their dispute.

The people on this island, one way or another, rely on tourism for our way of life. Generally the contact tourists have with the population brings a favorable reaction. Not so with the taxi drivers, where complaints are numerous and they are with out a doubt the worst ambassadors/representatives  this island possess.

Very often, the first and last person  a tourist meets is a taxis driver, who before trying to rip them off, will explain to them how lucky they are to get a taxi at all. In between, frightening them with their non-exsisting driving skills while smoking, using a mobile telephone and drinking coffee.

The argument that there is a complaint system is ridiculous; people come on holiday to enjoy themselves. Going through official channels in Greece? some people are only here for two weeks. If the system was sincere, why is there not a sign inside the car explaining how to complain?

One hopes that for the benefit of tourism and tourists alike, the ending of this dispute will see the introduction of alternative transport services, which will ensure that such a selfish and undeserving group of people can never put their fellow countrymen’s livelihoods at risk again.

David Finn, Rhodes