ΑTHENS – Seeking voting sectors with elections coming, the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA filed legislation that will prohibit ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Greece’s own passenger-to-locator Beat that’s popular in other countries, the ban drawing praise from the taxi industry.
Not wanting competition and trying to beat back a reputation for cheating tourists and even rigging meters, the country’s taxi industry had been pushing the government to outlaw Uber and other ride-sharing services available in many countries.
The Transport Ministry sent an amendment to the Parliament that the minority government, with only 144 votes in the body, controls anyway after a handful of former rivals and alleged Independents pledged loyalty to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipas.
A federation representing taxi owners and drivers said the amendment “forbids the collection of a fare from any intermediary company. The fare is collected by the taxi driver. The fee for any mediator is paid at the end of the month, and deals only with an agreed-to commission. Anything else is a tax violation,” the business newspaper Naftemporiki reported.
The taxi union POEITA lobbied hard against ride-sharing apps and smartphone platforms in Greece which means riders will have to hail cabs and won’t have the option of Uber or other services under the SYRIZA amendent.