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France: Taxi drivers lock down Paris in huge anti-Uber protest

 |  June 25, 2015

French taxi drivers overturned cars, burned tires and blocked access to airports and train stations in a second day of violent protest Thursday against competition from the ride-sharing service Uber.

Hundreds of licensed cabbies, who say competition from the popular service is cutting into their income and threatening their jobs, converged on cities to stage demonstrations as part of a nationwide strike.

In Paris, riot police fired tear gas to clear protesting drivers from one of the main entrance roads to the city on the “péripherique” ring road.

The protests came after weeks of rising tension over the San Francisco-based service, which continues to operate despite a law clamping down on its operations.

French taxi unions accuse Uber — and particularly the UberPOP service, which connects passengers to a network of nonprofessional drivers — of ignoring court rulings, and complain police have turned a blind eye to the operation.

Uber has appealed against the judgments and is awaiting a final decision from France’s constitutional court, which began deliberating on the matter Tuesday.

Uber argues that the taxi drivers are an outdated lobby fixed on defending their monopoly at the expense of customer needs.

Full content: BBC News

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