Opening up the taxi market in Greece will boost competitiveness to the benefit of consumers and will lead to a strengthening of Greek economic competitiveness, Amelia Torres, European Commission spokeswoman said on Monday. Speaking to reporters, Mrs Torres said the government policy was aimed at boosting economic growth and therefore it should be implemented. Taxi drivers and owners have begun several-day protest mobilizations around the country, protesting against government measures to open up their profession.
Main opposition attacks PM for inaction on taxi strike
Main opposition New Democracy on Monday accused the prime minister of acting like an "irresponsible observer" and failing to take action to resolve a damaging taxi strike.
ND spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis called on Prime Minister George Papandreou to adopt a clear position on what he called a dispute between the current and former transport ministers of his government, accusing them of continuing a personal vendetta at the expense of society and the economy that was also damaging Greece's strongest industry, that of tourism.
Mihelakis noted that the former transport and current administrative reform minister Dimitris Reppas was insisting on his original solution, which linked the number of taxi licences to the population of a given area. The current transport minister Yiannis Ragoussis, however, had scrapped his predecessor's preparations and also suggested that the Reppas measures encouraged the exchange of taxi licences with undeclared money, tax evasion and the informal economy.
"Faced with all this, the prime minister is obliged to adopt a position and say which side he agrees with: Mr. Ragoussis or Mr. Reppas? Because he cannot at the same time approve the Reppas measures and also agree with Ragoussis, who is trying to impose exactly the opposite," the ND spokesman said.
Mihelakis said ND support the liberalisation of the taxi services sector on the same terms as those in all countries of Europe.