Taxi drivers block Crete, Corfu ports and airports

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek taxi drivers blocked ports and airports on the popular tourist islands of Crete and Corfu on Thursday, in a strike to protest against government plans to open up their trade to competition.

Taxi drivers, fighting deregulation in their industry — one of 135 professions targeted by Greece to meet EU and IMF bailout conditions, disrupted tourists for the fourth day, as EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit on the debt crisis.

Tourism makes up 16 percent of Greece’s GDP and the government had projected a 10 percent hike in tourism revenues after two years marred by anti-austerity strikes and protests.

In Crete, a top tourist destination, about 200 taxis blocked access to ports and the airport, a police official said. Passengers had to walk about 400 metres to get to their buses.

Taxis also blocked the port in Corfu, forcing passengers to walk hundreds of metres to reach buses. “They won’t let buses pick up passengers,” said a coast guard official.

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