Taxi drivers continue with strike, plan to march to Parliament tonight

For the first time since their strike began last Monday Greek taxi drivers admitted that their protests have affected day to day traffic, but they justified their stance claiming that other strikes have caused more damage on the economy than theirs has. The reason: A move by Leandros Rakintzis, state inspector, to urge relevant government agencies to submit claims against taxi owners for loss of earnings by the blockade at highway tolls and ticket offices of archaeological sites.

In a statement by the Panhellenic Federation of Taxi Owners (POEIATA), unionists said they recognize that their strike has affected everyday traffic, but they also questioned how effective Rakintzis’ seven-year tenure as general inspector of public administration is, because according to them he has done the same thing (and/or protested in the same way) against other relevant protests by professional organisations or rallies that had an even greater effect on society.

In this indirect way, the unionists of the Panhellenic Federation of Taxi drivers might of recognized that their mobilizations are indirectly affecting the tourism sector as well as day to day commuters, but they defend their positions arguing that other strikes had a much more severe impact on the economy as well as the everyday life of Greek citizens. To justify their response to Rakintzis, they suggest that the struggle of taxi owners across the country is purely sectoral and decisions followed by the industry are unanimous and a product of their Federation Board.

Their announcement also says that state inspector Rakintzis does not have the legitimacy to carry out his duties since his term has expired since September 2009, but (for some strange reason) he still remains in his position.

On Tuesday afternoon, motorists from all across Greece are expected in Athens and are planning to gather outside their union offices and then march to Greek Parliament  where they will hold a rally. While this will be going on, Minister of Transport Giannis Ragousis is expected to be informing PASOK’s parliamentary committee on this issue.

Earlier this morning, motorists from Crete arrived at Piraeus port, with Cretan taxi unions asking for an intervention by Prime Minister George Papandreou on the matter.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Ilias Mosialos said that the government would re-address the issue again, but he did not give any further details. 


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