OPINION

Metro hostage to interest groups

Commuters in Athens have repeatedly demanded that the metro and the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) run for an extra two hours on Fridays and Saturdays. This is common practice in most capitals across the world. In fact, most cities have longer timetables, and not just on the days when people tend to go out and have fun but on a daily basis. In Greece, however, the move is blocked by local interest groups. Although workers will be paid more for the extension of working hours, union leaders have declared a strike, threatening to deprive people of safe transport (particularly at nighttime, when people tend to drink more), while people of lower-income groups find it difficult to afford a taxi. The unreasonable reaction by the unionists harms metro employees, commuters and the union movement as it puts it at odds with the needs and will of 4 million people.