France

64 Paris taxi-drivers arrested as strike continues

A parisian taxi
A parisian taxi Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Paris police arrested 64 taxi-drivers for trying to blockade a central city square on Tuesday night. A strike and protests against competition from minicabs are set to continue. 

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About 100 taxis unexpectedly gathered in Paris's Place de la Concorde on Tuesday night, blocking traffic and causing chaos.

Police arrrested 64 of the drivers for causing disruption and refusing to disperse.

"Two hundred cars wanted to block La Concorde and some of the taxi-drivers' behaviour made their arrest necessary," a police source told the AFP news agency.

The drivers were held in custody for few hours and then released.

The taxi-drivers have been protesting since Monday against competition from a car service one can book through smartphone apps.

They want the French government to take measures against "unfair competition" and demand a " freeze on registration" of  internet car services, such as Uber or SnapCar, that have become more common since 2009.

The drivers decided on Tuesday to continue their strike Wednesday and to launch surprise protests to disrupt traffic.

"They could be everywhere and anywhere," said union leader Nordine Dahmane.

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