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Striking Greek taxi drivers on Monday began a 48-hour strike blocking road access to the country’s main airport and harbour in their latest protest against government reforms.
Officials at Athens International Airport advised travellers to use airport shuttle trains after hundreds of taxis blocked most lanes on the main access highway. Because of the strike, traffic jams also built up at the capital’s port of Piraeus, where taxi drivers blocked a road leading to the cruise ship terminal.
Taxi drivers started a two-day strike in protest at the government’s decision to liberalise dozens of tightly-regulated professions.
Greece’s Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Communications has announced that the strike is “unacceptable” and “lacks substantial justification”. “The forms of protests chosen by taxi owners are not only unacceptable in every respect, but will not bring any results”, stated the ministry, adding that “in any case, the release and liberalization of the profession will proceed normally, dialogue will evolve, as already announced by the ministry since the beginning”.
Commenting on the issue, the main opposition New Democracy party spokesman Giannis Michelakis, invited representatives of the taxi owners to show a responsible stance against over “the government’s irresponsibility”, while he also launched a direct verbal attack against Minister Giannis Ragkousis over the issue claiming that he was to blame for inexplicably and without any reasoning or plan, cancelled his predecessor’s agreement with the taxi industry”.
Massive traffic jams were formed on account of the strike