Striking Greek taxi drivers step up blockades

August 1, 2011 10:17:06 AM PDT
Striking Greek taxi owners have stepped up their protests, blockading highways and ports, after fresh negotiations with the government on new licensing laws collapsed.Protest organizers vowed to continue their 16-day-old strike. On Monday, taxi drivers blocked a highway in southern Greece and road access to Iraklio international airport on the holiday island of Crete, forcing tourists to reach the site on foot.

The protesters also blocked access to the main port on the island of Corfu and said they would surround the Transport Ministry in Athens for 48 hours.

Taxi owners are angry at plans to open up their profession to more competition, as part of business licensing reforms in the crisis-hit country.