Various mobilisations of taxi owners continued on Thursday across the country after their decision to extend their strike indefinitely, against the sector’s deregulation.
Taxi owners periodically blocked access to several national motorways, airports and ports throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the passenger ferries association SEEN addressed a letter to the ministers of citizen protection, competitiveness and tourism, calling for the adoption of necessary measures and the implementation of the law as a response to the transportation problems created that affect thousands of tourists.
The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, in a letter to the culture & tourism minister, called for a crisis management ministerial committee meeting to adopt coordinated action in handling the taxi owners’ actions.
According to the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, it is imperative that the necessary measures will be adopted to ease the consequences of the taxi mobilizations on foreign tourists who have chosen Greece for their summer vacation.
A statement by the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEVE) underlined that the extreme forms of protest, such as the taxi owners’ strike, further downgrade Greece’s image abroad and cancel out the efforts made by healthy enterprises in the country to reverse the negative international atmosphere.
SEVE called on the strikers to realise the gravity of the situation and seek other ways to solve their problems, stressing that the government should make all efforts to bring the situation back to normal.
Meanwhile, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) requested the intervention of Supreme Court prosecutor Ioannis Tentes to put an end to the blockade of airports, seaports, motorways, public buildings etc by striking taxi owners.
SETE underlined that the strike, aside from the inconvenience of citizens and foreign visitors, defames Greece abroad.
Already, local prosecutors in Athens and other major cities have launched ex officio preliminary investigations to determine whether the crimes of transportation obstruction and passenger travel disruption were committed.
Case files have been put together and prosecutors do not rule out confiscation of taxicabs if strikers continue the blockade action.
ND appeals to striking taxi owners to stop blocking access
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party on Thursday appealed to striking taxi owners nationwide to refrain from blocking access to airports, seaports or national motorways while, at the same time, lashing out again at the government and the relevant minister in particular.
ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis underlined that Minister Yiannis Ragoussis is "trapped in a personal (political) vendetta with his predecessor Dimitris Reppas, whereas the former's actions are a “proof of the insolvency” of the government, one that “lacks coordination and has no plan”.
Mihelakis accused Ragoussis of causing social confrontations, and of being indifferent to the serious economic consequences and damage caused to the tourism sector.