Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis recently expressed his intention to give taxi owners the opportunity to provide limo services, all of which caused a major uproar within the Greek Car Rental Companies Association.
The association expressed its indignation and disappointment towards Mr. Hatzidakis and reminded of its repeated requests -over the last three decades- to provide limo services and had been assured by the government that the issue would be considered. The association believes that the government’s decision to assign limo services to taxi owners is an act of “favoritism.”
The association stressed that rental cars with a guide is a service provided in all European Union countries -if not the world- mainly by car rental companies and aims to serve society and upgrade the tourism product.
The Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises agreed with the rent-a-car association and said that the proposed change to offer taxi owners limo services would have no result: “There is a whole concept behind limo services, as it does not only include the offer of a luxurious automobile.
“In no case will a taxi driver be able to offer such services, even if we assume of course that he speaks a foreign language adequately and meets the minimum standards of appearance and behavior. Also, limos are usually pre-booked and we wonder how a taxi driver will be able to put together and operate such a system.”
Despite the above arguments the association adds that it has no objection for taxi owners to be given the opportunity to offer limo services, but the same opportunity must be given to rent-a-car offices, travel agencies and hotels.