22 June 2005

The Web

White taxi detour

Michaela Muscat

In the wake of his past pronouncements in favour of the liberalisation of the White Taxi market, the Minister of Tourism must have had his knuckles rapped by Transport Minister Jesmond Mugliett.
Barely ten months ago, in an interview which took place in August 2004, Francis Zammit Dimech was adamant that there was “no justification for the present limit on the number of White Taxis.”
Only last week, Zammit Dimech, told sister newspaper Maltatoday he had no qualms with the current White Taxi monopoly “as long as taxi drivers are offering a good service.” He also added the status quo was subject to the quality of the service.
These calculated statements differ considerably to his past opinion when he had even cited the example of neighbouring Tunisia as a country whose taxis services are frequently used by the local population.
In an interview with sister newspaper MaltaToday last year Zammit Dimech said he personally favoured liberalising the White Taxi service. But just one week after, in an interview in the same newspaper, Transport Minister Jesmond Mugliett had said that commitments had been made in the past with taxi drivers and these commitments did not include liberalisation.
Mugliett had said that liberalisation would only be considered if the service did not improve.


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