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Society

Cypriot Taxi Drivers Threaten Strike Over Bus Competition

December 20, 2017

Not wanting any competition from shuttle buses at Larnaca Airport, Cypriot taxi drivers said they will move toward a strike next month after the government ignored their two-hour work stoppage on Dec. 19.
During the shutdown, which began at 8:30 a.m., taxi drivers rattled off their grievances about the buses which take people to other cities, customers they want to themselves.

Andreas Katsikides, Vice-President of the Larnaca Taxi Drivers Association said the shuttle companies worked without proper licenses and “created unwanted competition,” the Cyprus Mail reported, as he indicated he wants a monopoly for his sector.

The drivers said an amendment to the law meant “any company can, without problems start regular routes to and from Cyprus’ airports and from the free areas of Famagusta,” and that drivers will lose business.

Katsikides said taxi drivers want the licences for a company offering a shuttle service from the Famagusta district cancelled so they can have the routes to themselves. No one from the government was at the airport to hear their gripes.

“We informed them but no one came so we’ll escalate measures. In January, we’ll strike and close off roads until someone listens to us,” he said, the paper reported. Passengers were not in any way inconvenienced, he said.

A spokesperson for Kapnos airport shuttle, which offers routes from the airport, said there had not been any disruption to services.

“We have been discussing this problem for years and had many meetings with the relevant ministries and road transport department but we have not received any answer nor clarification as to what the routes are and what the role of the shuttles is,” Andreas Themistocleous, head of the Larnaca airport taxi drivers said.

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