Taxi owners suspend strike

Taxi owners throughout Greece on Friday announced the suspension of their strike after nearly a month of mobilisations that included blockades of the country's ports and airports.
The decision to end the strike until September 5, after Parliament reopens on August 22 and on the eve of the annual Thessaloniki International Fair, was taken during a stormy three-hour-plus session of the taxi owners' federation general assembly.
Following the suspension of the strike, taxis are expected to reappear immediately on Greek streets.
There were 13 votes in favour of suspending the strike and six votes against, from representatives of taxi owners in Sparti in the southeast Peloponnese, in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, the prefecture of Ioannina in the northwest and the city of Patras in the northwest Peloponnese, as well as two representatives affiliated to the Communist Party of Greece in Athens.
The head of the nationwide federation of taxi owners Thymios Lymberopoulos, in statements after the meeting, said that taxi owners will be distributing leaflets to the public outlining their positions until September 5.
An announcement said that taxi owners would continue dialogue with the government and expressed hope that by September 5, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis will have finally made his proposals for the sector known.
It noted that the decision to suspend the strike was taken after receiving assurances from regional authority chiefs that they would not issue any new taxi licences until the draft bill liberalising the sector had been passed, the prime minister's call to dialogue "without prejudices" and the support they received from the majority of the political spectrum.

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