A highly anticipated draft bill regulating taxi services providers, such as Uber and Beat, was tabled in parliament last week laying out a stricter framework of operations in efforts to ensure fair play and equal taxation.
Transport ministry officials underline that the bill is in line with EU legislation and a recent European Court ruling.
Mushrooming ride-hailing apps in Athens have led to the reaction of the Attica taxi drivers union last week / who claim services like Uber and Beat are “robbing them of their living”. On the other end of the spectrum, Greek-formed app Beat took the case to court.
Once the law is passed, violations will carry strict penalties including drivers having their professional license revoked for two years, while vehicle owners “cooperating illegally with a mediating taxi service will be subject to an administrative fine of 5,000 euros per vehicle” – doubled in the case of a second violation.
Unlicensed taxi services providers or apps will have to pay 50,000 euros for violating the law and will be unable to set up and operate another service for the following two years. At the same time, the draft foresees that city and prefect authorities will be required in the next 18 months (two years for Athens and Thessaloniki) to set out specific taxi stands operating on a first-come first-served basis. Other issues covered in the bill include fines for traffic law violations as well as for polluting.