Uber Shuts Down One of its Services in Greece



Ride-hailing service Uber on Thursday said it would suspend one of its two services in Greece after the government approved tighter regulations for the sector.

The U.S.-based company said it would suspend UberX from April 10, a service employing private drivers, which has sparked protests from cabbies in Greece and other European countries.

UberX launched in Athens in 2015 and more than 450,000 people have used its smartphone app to book a ride.

The parent company will retain the UberTAXI service which employs professional cabbies.

“New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ride-sharing services,” Uber said on its blog.

“We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution.”

The new rules approved by parliament in March require the company to name a local administrator and register its drivers and their vehicles with the transport ministry, setting stiff fines for failure to do so.

In March, Athens taxi drivers walked off the job in protest at what they call unfair competition from Uber.

When Uber arrived in Greece in 2014, Taxi Union Association of Athens (SATA) President Thymios Lymberopoulos said that any taxi driver who works with Uber was a “traitor” and should be hanged, “not from a fig tree but in Syntagma square”.