Greek taxi drivers disrupt tourists in protest of deregulation
Greek taxi drivers protesting against the liberalisation of their profession – an IMF-dictated reform enacted in exchange for the debt-stricken country receiving emergency aid – caused chaos on Monday as they blocked access to ports, archaeological sites and Athens international airport.
On the first day of a 48-hour strike, described as “the beginning of a battle”, cabbies took over roads, toll-booths and entries to the ports of Piraeus and Patras in a mass display of defiance against government plans to deregulate their trade.
Thousands of holidaymakers visiting Greece were caught up in the mayhem. Many missed connecting flights after some 2,000 taxi drivers took over the road leading to the capital’s airport. Protesters also blocked gates to cruise ship docks preventing some 15,000 visitors from boarding coaches to see prime sites. In northern Greece, holidaymakers were also held up as drivers blocked main roads.