Arab Today, arab today greece fails to reach deal with taxi union
Last Updated : GMT 21:25:08
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Greece fails to reach deal with taxi union

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Arab Today, arab today Greece fails to reach deal with taxi union

Athens - AFP

Greek police fired teargas at striking taxi drivers Wednesday, as union leaders said they would press on with the stoppage because government refused to discuss their solutions to impasse. The country\'s ruling Socialists decided to deregulate the taxi sector earlier in July, as part of efforts to liberalise the nation\'s struggling economy, a key demand of Greece\'s foreign creditors. \"The strike continues sine die because there have not been any developments,\" in discussions with authorities, the drivers\' union said in a statement. The action has caused disruptions around the country, notably on Monday when a number of taxis blocked the motorway linking Athens to the capital\'s international airport, causing huge traffic jams. A meeting Wednesday afternoon between union leaders and transport ministry officials ended without a deal. Taxi owners who had gathered outside the ministry office in Athens briefly tried to enter the building and hurled projectiles at anti-riot squads, but they were quickly dispersed by police who fired tear gas. Union leader Thymios Lyberopoulos said government negotiators were not willing to discuss \"the solutions proposed by the unions.\" The European Union and International Monetary Fund have demanded sweeping deregulation in various Greek labour sectors in exchange for multi-billion-dollar loans needed to save Athens from defaulting on its debt. The EU and IMF bailed Greece out in May 2010 with a 110 billion euros ($160 billion) loan, but the country is still in serious difficulty and needs another bailout valued at around the same amount. The tourism industry, vital to the country\'s economy, desperately needs holidaymakers to visit through the summer high-season. Industry officials have voiced concern that continuing waves of social unrest will keep tourists away.

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