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April 5, 2018,   6:01 PM

Facing New Regulations, Uber Suspends Service in Greece

Samuel Wendel

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In yet another chapter in the ongoing tug-of-war between regulators and ride-hailing services, Uber suspended parts of its service in Greece this week following the approval of local legislation that brought about stricter rules.

The U.S.-based company, which has faced backlash in markets around the world, operates a licensed service in Athens, including its UberX option, which uses independent contractors, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers.

Not surprisingly, Uber has encountered plenty of opposition from local taxi drivers in Athens—which has now resulted in unwanted regulatory measures. “New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ride-sharing services,” Uber wrote 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.”

Such a situation is now a well-travelled road for Uber and for other ride-hailing services. Case in point: in Egypt, Uber and its Dubai-based competitor Careem are currently navigating a tenuous situation, after a court ruled to suspend their licenses in late March 2018. However, both ride-hailing services have continued to operate since then.

In a recent Twitter post, Uber Egypt said it could not comment in detail on legal proceedings, but that it would appeal the decision. In a series of additional Tweets, Uber Egypt says it has been working with the government to get over regulatory speed-bumps, including taking part in committee meetings with government ministers to finalize regulations. “We have always believed that the ridesharing industry in Egypt should be regulated, and we look forward to seeing progressive regulations that would support part time, flexible work opportunities for the hundreds of thousands of drivers that are part of our network, who contribute to the development of the Egyptian economy,” reads a statement from Uber Egypt from last week.



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