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Backing SYRIZA, Greek Taxi Union Demands Monopoly, No Uber

Αssociated press

FILE - Pedestrian walks next to parked taxis on strike in central Athens, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS - Having supported the Radical Left SYRIZA which is on a track to lose July 7 snap elections unless a surprise comeback is mounted, the head of the Attica Taxi Union said whichever party is elected must keep a monopoly for taxi drivers.

Thymios Lymberopoulos, head of the union called SATA, also claimed he wrote legislation that SYRIZA promoted to prevent operations from ride-sharing services like Uber and Greece’s own home-grown Beat, so that the taxi drivers wouldn’t have competition.

Already fighting a reputation for gouging tourists and the unsuspecting, the taxi drivers have demanded only they can provide paying rides, which Lymberopoulos said protected consumers who have no choice but to take taxis.

SATA’s endorsement of SYRIZA, whose candidates took a beating in May 26 elections for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament, was seen as a trade-off for the government effectively barring any competition although the ride-sharing services are available in many countries around the world.