Expats and visitors happy Spanish taxi driver strike is over

Published:  3 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Euro
Following more than a week of road transport chaos, Spanish taxi drivers have now called off their strike.

Started in Barcelona just over a week ago, the strike action was taken in response to the increasing popularity of ride-hailing services from Uber and similar companies and follows other such protests in European countries. Taxi drivers felt their complaints about loss of livelihood and being charged far more than Uber drivers for their licenses were being ignored, as was a law stating there must be 30 traditional taxis for each ride-hailing car. The strike had been affecting tourism businesses in Barcelona and other visitor hotspots, and expats and locals working in the city were severelly inconvenienced.

During the announcement that the protest was to be called off, a representative from the strike committee warned traditional taxi drivers would stay vigilant in order to ensure the government’s promises were kept, adding that drivers were ready to resume strike action at a moment’s notice. If tighter controls over ride-hailing services aren’t kept, up, he said, drivers would immediately return to the streets in protest. The taxi drivers' actions have badly affected businesses and their employees in Barcelona as they’ve fallen in a disastrous year for the popular visitor destination.

A year ago, the city suffered a deadly terrorist attack followed by the October secession bid and its huge street protests, and the international airport was the scene of a number of strikes by Ryanair cabin crew as well as by airport security staff. One retail business group told the media sales to tourists have fallen by up to 30 per cent as a result of the various issues, especially in the central areas popular with international visitors. In Madrid, losses incurred due to the strike are being estimated at between 20 and 30 per cent, with police now investigating a number of reports of vehicle damage, personal attacks, public disorder and coercion.
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