Athens Anti-Smog Rule Sparks Cabbie Protest


Commuters will have to leave their cars at home and forget about their afternoon siestas under anti-pollution measures that came into force in Athens on Monday.

The government's latest attempt to fight smog in one of Europe's most polluted capitals includes banning private cars from the city center, halving the number of taxis and introducing continuous working hours, with no time out for siestas.

However, the measures were not well received by the city's taxi drivers, who refused to operate Monday in the city center. Traffic on the streets, usually cluttered with bright yellow taxis, was noticeably lighter.

Shop owners, reluctant to give up the traditional afternoon siesta hours, a dominant feature of Greek life, held a one-day strike last week to protest the new working hours.

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