Greek Cabbies Suspend 19-day Strike

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ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Greek cab drivers halted a 19-day strike Friday after the government agreed to temporarily limit the number of new taxi licenses.

After several hours of negotiations, taxi owners and drivers voted to suspend the strike against a government deregulation plan until Sept. 5, Ekathimerini.com reported.

The vote came after cabbies won assurances Thursday from regional governors that no additional taxi licenses would be issued until the government submits a draft law near the end of August.

But cabbies, who want the number of licenses to be limited, based on cities’ populations, said they could stage more strikes if they are not satisfied with the law.

Ekathimerini.com reported that Transport Minister Yiannis Ragousis is expected to call for deregulation of the industry, opening it to competition in response to demands from Greece’s foreign creditors.

Ragousis said none of the 4,600 applications for new licenses would be approved before the legislation is made public.

The strike came in the heart of tourist season, and cabbies, facing the loss of income, had already returned to work on the Aegean islands of Lesvos, Myconos, Rhodes, Kos and Santorini, Ekathimerini.com said.

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