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Tourists sweat over Greek taxi strike

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Tourists sweat over Greek taxi strike


Greek taxi drivers continued their industrial action on Thursday, clouding the start of the summer holiday for many tourists.

Clear blue skies and soaring temperatures greeted holidaymakers on the Greek island of Crete, but they were forced to walk to their hotels trailing their luggage behind them.

Taxi drivers are staging a strike over plans to deregulate their industry and have blocked access to ports and airports across the country in recent days. “It’s actually terrible that you are punishing the visitors who love Greece when it’s your Greek government that you are angry with,” complained one tourist who had just arrived on the island.

At a motorway toll station outside Athens, a sea of taxis blocked many of the lanes.The EU and IMF have made deregulation in some of the country’s industries a condition of receiving billions of euros in financial aid.

The taxi sector is of at least 135 professions targeted by Greece to meet those conditions.

Tourism makes up 16 percent of the country’s GDP and the government had projected a 10 percent hike in tourism revenues. The indefinite action by the taxi drivers could force a revision of that estimate.

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