Taxi drivers

Andalusia | Violent protests as taxi drivers angered by plans to regulate ride-sharing industry in Andalucia

Taxi drivers are unhappy with the competition from ride-sharing companies. / PE

The junta said the regulations aim to provide a legal framework so that the two forms of transport can coexist to provide the best service to the public.

Angry taxi drivers protested outside the Andalusian parliament building in Seville on Thursday, over new regulations being drawn up by the regional government so that ride-sharing companies can continue to operate in the cities from October 1 .

Nearly 1,000 people took part in the protest, which turned violent and ended with the arrest of two protesters. Eggs and bottles were thrown, the crowd hurled insults and mockery, and the police responded by charging at protesters.

A National Police statement said several protesters tried to break fences and threw eggs at the parliament building, which is why one was arrested for disturbing public order and the other for aggression against authority.

“They will do what they want”

Taxi drivers are angry that they see ride-sharing companies as a threat, and they were concerned about the proposed content of the new regulations, which they learned about on Monday.

The regional government says it wants taxis and ride-sharing companies to coexist to provide the best service to the public, which has angered the taxi industry.

The measure was also rejected by the Union of Andalusian Taxi Associations (UATA), whose spokesman Pepe Hoyos insisted it would serve no purpose.

“The ride-sharing companies will do what they want, they will ignore all the regulations and laws,” he said, and he accused the junta of “betraying” the taxi industry.

Talks continue

After the protest, the Minister of Public Works of the Junta de Andalucía, Marifrán Carazo, stressed that discussions on the new regulations were continuing and that the regional government would seek “dialogue and participation”.

The measure is to provide legal certainty, she said, “so as not to jeopardize the service provided by taxis”.

“We are continuing to negotiate and we are talking because we want to approve this settlement and do it on the basis of dialogue and participation,” Carazo said. The talks, which began a week ago, “are not over yet and we need to move them forward,” she insisted.