Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou on Tuesday lashed out at striking taxi owners who resort to “extreme forms of violence”.
Speaking to an Athens private radio station, Papaioannou stressed that “in essence, certain individuals wish to disrupt the country’s democratic development; the stabilization of the economy. They are criminals to say the least.”
He accused the taxi owners’ representatives of not responding to the invitation for dialogue made by the prime minister and added that “they did not show consideration for Greece’s tourism. Most of all, they did not respect the country’s image. The picture of Greece sent abroad is not doing justice to the country. The picture created by certain taxi owners is not reflective of Greece.”
The justice minister stressed that the increased use of violence tends to become an “endemic phenomenon”, adding that “society cannot tolerate such situations”.
“Aside from cancelling out important things, like the country’s economy, it undermines democratic function  and the democratic institutions. They should realize that this country has a Constitution and laws which we have to respect,” he stressed.
“Such issues need to be prevented, they call for ideological and political handling and they should be met with unreserved condemnation. A government decision might not be the best but this cannot justify the phenomena we are experiencing,” he concluded.