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Greece taxi strike disrupts tourism

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 01:41

July 21 - Taxi drivers blocking an airport and port on the Greek island of Crete cause hardships for tourists. Nick Rowlands reports.

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Tourists on the Greek island of Crete must walk to and from Heraklion International Airport because striking taxi drivers are blocking the roads. The disruption is part of several actions by drivers since they went on strike on Monday to protest government plans to open up their sector to competition. Holidaymakers are not impressed. (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH TOURIST WALKING TO IRAKLION AIRPORT ON FOOT WITH HER LUGGAGE: "It's actually terrible that you are punishing the visitors who love Greece, when it's your Greek government that you are angry with." (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH TOURIST SITTING IN HER CAR IN A TRAFFIC JAM TRYING TO GET TO IRAKLION: "It's a very hot day to be pulling our suitcases all the way up the road." Drivers also blocked a port on Crete on Thursday, preventing tour buses from picking up and dropping off passengers on cruise ships, forcing them to walk three kilometers to a holding point for the buses. Around 2,500 passengers were affected, and officials say the action is hurting Greek tourism. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESIDENT OF THE IRAKLION PORT AUTHORITY GEORGE TSIKNAKIS: "Due to the protest action by the taxi owners, the organised tours with buses are not taking place. Of course we would have liked for these tours to take place, which is part of the complete service provided to tourists, and that way tourism would not suffer, which provides a lifeline for the local and national economy." After meeting the Transport Minister on Wednesday, taxi union officials said the talks had reached deadlock, and the strike would continue indefinitely. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Greece taxi strike disrupts tourism

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 01:41