Athens taxi drivers launch strike the same day as public transport stoppage

Taxi drivers gather during their rally in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
Taxi drivers gather during their rally in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis
By Euronews with AP
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Taxi drivers in the Greek capital will strike the same day that public transport comes to a stop nationwide.

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Taxi drivers began a 48-hour strike in Athens on Tuesday which on its second day will coincide with a nationwide action by public and some private sector workers. 

The walkout is expected to disrupt transport in the capital, ground some flights and leave ferries in the port.

On the first day of the strike, called by Athens’ main taxi union, more than 200 taxis drove to the centre of the Greek capital calling for a reduction in taxes, access to bus lanes and stricter regulation on ride-sharing apps.

According to taxi driver and union member Georgios Voilis, new taxes imposed on the self-employed in the country have brought a burden for drivers which is “a financial debasement, a tombstone”.

Public and private transport sector workers will be striking on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the country’s deadliest rail disaster, where nearly 60 people were killed. The incident took place on February 28, 2023, when a passenger train collided head-on with a freight train after the two had mistakenly been put on the same track heading in opposite directions.

“One year (has passed) and those responsible for the tragedy have still not answered for their criminal actions that led 57 of our compatriots …. to their deaths,” the union, known by its Greek acronym ADEDY, said in its announcement of the strike.

ADEDY is also calling for a 10% increase in public sector salaries to tackle the rising cost of living and inflation, collective wage agreements and a series of tax breaks.

Medical staff in public hospitals and teachers in public schools said they’d participate in Wednesday’s walkout, while staff at banks are also to strike for the day.

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