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Rift in Papademos Coalition Government Over Taxi-Bill

A rift broke in the Papademos coalition government when one minister rejected the bill proposed by another minister. Further the minister assures, he would not even vote in favor during a parliament voting. Transportation Minister Makis Voridis (Nea Dimocratia) tabled a bill liberalizing the taxi ownership licences. The bill foresees among others, no new cab licenses in the Attica region (Athens). Alternate Defense Minister Yiannis Ragousis (PASOK),  a former Transportation Minister, disagreed with Voridis’ bill, arguing the the proposed reforms protect the interests of certain groups. That is the interests of taxi owners in Athens who had strongly reacted to new cab licences in the Greek capital.

“Ragousis, who argued that the proposed reforms protect the narrow interests of certain groups, released a series of emails exhanged with the troika — the European Union, the European Central Bank and the Intenational Monetary Fund – to prove that European and IMF officials had approved a previous draft bill carrying his signature.

Based on calculation taking into account population and environmental criteria, the new bill does not foresee fresh cab licenses in Attica, though new permits will be issued elsewhere around Greece. Licenses are also expected to be issued for vehicles seating five to eight people which will not carry meters.

Speaking on Skai on Friday, Ragousis spoke of the “politics of exception” and noted that the truck drivers will be up next with demands for their sector to be exempted from total liberalization.

Responding to Ragousis, Transport Minister Makis Voridis noted that the new bill’s basic principles have already been approved by the troika, adding that on an ethical level «it would be preferable to leave any discussion with the troika to the minister in charge.»

Also speaking on Skai on Friday, the general secretary of the SATA taxi owners’ union, Constantinos Dimos, said that the proposed draft bill will streamline Greek policy with the rest of Europe.” (Kathimerini)

The bill is expected to be submitted to the Parliament in the near future.

As Greece heads towards ealry elections end of April and the parliament is expected to close on April 6, the new government and parliament might be the ones that will deal with the taxi bill.

Opening of closed porfessions like taxis and trucks has been one of the adamant demands of the Troika but the Greek governments are slow in proceeding with such bills due to strong reactions incl several strikes of powerful trade unions.

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  1. Apart from the merits of this bill, it is one of many subjects that show that there is no continuity and planning in the way Greece is governed. And this is one of the major causes for the rampant corruption and total failure of the state.
    This bill was originally made by Reppas (now on Administrative Reform, which is a big joke in itself) who dragged his feet so obviously with this and the truck deregulation that he is single handedly responsible for a large part of the total mistrust by all the creditors now. In the summer of 2011 Ragousis took over and pushed through those two bills. No idea where he pushed them, because now I read that they still are not tabled in Parliament? Or has it to do with all those to-and-fro that is part and parcel of Greek politics and lawmaking?
    OK, then Ragousis was replaced by Voridis, but remained in the cabinet as Alternate Minister for National Defence.
    In a period of 8 months THREE ministers have dealt with this bill and every time it was rewritten by the incoming minister according to his ‘believes’? Or more according to his clientèle?
    Last week we saw the same happening when there came a new minister for Education. Suddenly several of the laws prepared by Diamantopoulos are now being ‘evaluated’ and will probably be rewritten.
    Just two examples of how ‘continuity’ is a non-existent word in Greece.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      the unions’ pressure is too strong, Antonis, and now due to upcoming elections, pressure is even bigger.A political gain for ND if this bill will pass as such. Chairman of taxi owners union is ND man – although he was expelled, if I remember right. But he can return…


    Just found the video on zerohedge: European Crisis Explanation… For Dummies From Greeks.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      I overcome my reservations to approve this comment, as the video insults of my sense of humor.

      • You mean – that’s comedy (sort of)? But…that guy was so realistic!

        • keeptalkinggreece

          comedy? brrrrrrrrrrrrrr realistic? in what sense? maybe I should make a separate post and ask people’s opinion

          • Only joking, ktg! 🙂

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I hope yoi do. (don’t mess with my hairspray!)

          • No (unfemine) sweat, ktg, I would never mess with your hairspray! I’m a manly man, after all.
            So, I use foam stuff to get my hair into law and order, of course. I call it the “chemische Keule” (“chemical cudgel” = mace). No riots or strikes allowed on my head, every hair has to line up according to guidelines! That’s the German way, and it produces more pleasing results than Greek anarchy. Just look at that guy Panos in the video (if you can without getting eye pain). What a pitiable sight!

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I’d call it “perfect German hair styling!” Bravo! No, I can’t watch Panos for a second time. Pitiable , indeed.

  3. This Borat style of humor is quite strange. Most of the Greeks commenting the video on the facebook site of Mr.Panos or on the youtube site seem to like it. For myself as a schnitzelface I have not made up my mind whether I like it. Humor ist wenn man trotzdem lacht (German saying, difficult to translate)

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Humor is when one laughs despite… (all odds?). Panos and Borat are not my style. too long mustaches, you know…

      • Right, I totally agree! Men should use handkerchiefs, not lazily leave that to a mustache instead.
        Uh… “three day” stubbles okay with you? I know that some girls have sensitive skin…on the face and elsewhere…

        • keeptalkinggreece

          what a question!!! This goes beyond my authority as nlog admin to answer it. sorry 🙁

          • Oh. Sounds like you’re completely busy, right to the ends of your hair, with your role as a blog administrator, plus occasionally with your hairdo. What a shame! Let the sunshine in, there’s life outside the internets!
            Or so I have been told…

          • keeptalkinggreece

            that’s exactly what I’m going to do 🙂

          • Rightly so! A new hairdo is double the fun when you show it to the world and people admire you for it.

      • Good translation, ktg! Just a small correction – imho the meaning rather is “Humor is when one laughs despite the pain!”