Valletta, Malta – Scuffles broke out Monday in Malta between striking bus and taxi drivers whose stoppage is paralyzing the island in the midst of its tourism season.
The strike, which organizers say will last ‘indefinitely,’ was triggered by government plans to grant licences to more hearse operators in an effort to liberalize the sector.
Bus and taxi drivers, who believe their activities will be targeted next under the liberalization plans, staged a street protest in the capital, Valletta.
At one stage, strikers broke through a police cordon and ran up the steps leading to the Prime Minister’s office before being blocked.
Thousands of people including tourists were left stranded at bus stops in the scorching summer heat, with the government appealing to private motorists to provide lifts where possible.