Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party spokesman Yiannis Mihelakis on Tuesday lashed out again at Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis for his handling of the taxi sector liberalisation issue.
Mihelakis spoke about “irresponsibility” and called on Prime Minister George Papandreou to abandon the role of an “irresponsible observer” and proceed with the deregulation of the profession following the rules that are in effect in all European countries.
The ND spokesman accused Ragoussis of “playing games to the detriment of society, economy and the tourist industry”.
Taxi owners march in central Athens
Striking taxi owners on Tuesday carried out a march in the centre of Athens to protest against government plans for the liberalisation of the taxi services sector.
Thousands of owners from areas throughout Greece, from Crete to Corfu and northern Greece to Kalamata, gathered outside the offices of the taxi owners' federation SATA in Marni Street and set off shortly after 4:00 p.m. heading for Syntagma Square opposite Parliament.
The march aims to arrive in Syntagma shortly before ruling PASOK's Parliamentary working group for labour issues is convened at 6:00 p.m. so that Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis can explain his policies concerning the taxi sector to MPs.
Investigation of taxi owners' actions at road tolls
The head of the Athens first-instance court public prosecutors' office Eleni Raikou on Tuesday ordered an investigation to determine whether striking taxi owners staging demonstrations at road tolls were guilty of illegal violence.
Taxi owners had lifted the bars at road tolls and allowed motorists to go through free of charge as a protest against government plans for the liberalisation of their sector.
Raikou has asked police to investigate whether the taxi owners behind the process were guilty of illegally using violence and to find those responsible. Police will demand to see footage from video cameras installed at road tolls and will also examine witnesses.