Bus owners end protest over government's transport policy

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The Independent Online

Private tour bus owners returned to work today after a two-day nationwide strike that forced the cancellation of day trips to some of Greece's most popular tourist destinations.

Private tour bus owners returned to work today after a two-day nationwide strike that forced the cancellation of day trips to some of Greece's most popular tourist destinations.

About 5,200 buses were involved in the strike, called to protest the government's transport policy that tour bus drivers claim unfairly favours public mass transit companies over private operators.

Drivers called off the strike after the government promised reforms. But they warned they could walk off the job again if the reforms are not implemented by March 28.

The buses are normally used to transport tens of thousands of tourists who arrive in Greece on package tours each year. They are also used to ferry workers and students to hundreds of factories and private schools.

All day tours were canceled during the strike, including those to popular destinations such as the ancient ruins at Delphi, the theater of Epidaurus, and Mycenae.

Drivers had also parked their buses along main avenues around Athens during the strike, further clogging the normally traffic-congested capital.

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