Taxi driver strike disrupts French cities
Thousands of disgruntled taxi drivers disrupted traffic on the streets of France's main cities on Wednesday, protesting against plans to deregulate their industry
PARIS, January 30, 2008 - Thousands of disgruntled taxi drivers disrupted
traffic on the streets of France's main cities on Wednesday, protesting
against plans to deregulate their industry.
Traffic ground to a halt in parts of Paris, Marseille, Toulouse and
Strasbourg as taxi drivers gathered at key points, blocking roads and driving
at a crawl to cause maximum disruption.
They reject government reform proposals aimed at increasing the numbers of
taxis in France, arguing that if the plans come into force their already weak
revenues would be hit hard.
In Paris, thousands of drivers congregated at the Place de la Republique in
the heart of the French capital.
The government plans would be a "catastrophe for our profession," said
Alain Estival, president of the taxi union FNAT.
The strike action caused 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) of tailbacks in
France's southern second city of Marseille, while similar jams were in
evidence in southwestern Toulouse and the main eastern city of Strasbourg.