Nicosia taxi drivers said on Tuesday they would launch weekly protests until they were no longer targeted by authorities for crossing north, a move that could lead to traffic chaos in the capital with a possible blockage of the main roads at rush hour.
The trade group said it would start its protest at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday without providing more information.
The head of the Nicosia Urban Taxi Drivers Association Panayiotis Kylilis told state broadcaster CyBC on Monday that the reason for the protests was not that they were allowed to obtain fuel in the north. , but that they no longer be targeted by the authorities in this regard. question.
He said customs officials at crossing points only target taxi drivers intending to cross north and prevent them from filling their tanks. This, he said, indirectly promotes hacking since others who illegally offer taxi services can travel north undisturbed and get cheaper fuel, thus offering cheaper fares. Kylilis said it was unfair competition for legal taxi drivers. “If this is the case, we should all become pirates so that no one can disturb us,” he added.
According to Kylilis, if taxi drivers aren’t allowed to cross to fill their tanks, no one should. “The law is for everyone, not just for taxi drivers,” he added.
“We want the implementation of the Green Line regulations to apply to everyone,” he said.
Taxi drivers wreaked havoc on traffic last Tuesday when they blocked the roundabout outside the Presidential Palace before heading towards the Ayios Dhometios crossing point.
The protests were sparked after a driver who was due to cross north about two weeks ago was told by customs that they would check the vehicle’s fuel gauge to make sure he was not trying to fill it with fuel.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said they would take action to protect professional taxi drivers from those who illegally offer such services with changes in the law. He also said his ministry would revise taxi fares, which are now based on 2008 prices, so they don’t have to refuel in the north.
Taxi drivers said they would launch weekly mobilisations from Tuesday “until a resolution – apologies for being tarnished for defending the free rights of any law-abiding citizen.”