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France

Taxis disrupt Paris traffic in protest at 'unfair competition'

There was considerable disruption in Paris on Monday when the capital’s taxi drivers blocked streets in protest against what they see as unfair competition from new operators authorised to offer tourists rides in cars with drivers.

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At three oclock, 300 taxis had blocked the Invalides area in central Paris, although many taxi drivers who left as part of a convoy from Charles De Gaulle airport this morning have still not reached their destination, according to organisers from the main trade unions.

The national traffic information centre logged 242 kilometres of traffic jams around Paris at 9 o'clock this morning as a result of go-slow operations which began at dawn from the capital’s two main airports, Charles De Gaulle and Orly.

The drivers are protesting against a government decision to end their monopoly on cab services in the capital.

A decree in December allowed operators, including US-based Uber, to offer cars on condition that there is a 15-minute delay between ordering the cab and its arrival.

The protesters, who call the newcomers "multinationals", are also angry about a hike in VAT on transport from seven per cent to 10 per cent.

The government's decision has upset the new operators, too.
They are contesting the obligatory delay in court.
 

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