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Paris taxi dispute: protests move to city centre

Published 05/02/2016

Taxi drivers, one holding the French flag, stage a protest in Paris (AP)
Taxi drivers, one holding the French flag, stage a protest in Paris (AP)

Protesting chauffeurs have moved to Paris city centre after disrupting access to Charles de Gaulle Airport for hours, amid tensions between traditional taxis and app-based car services.

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs pelted each other with projectiles overnight at the Porte Maillot interchange in western Paris, according to police in the capital. No-one was injured or arrested.

On Friday morning, chauffeurs began blocking the main road into Charles de Gaulle with about 50 cars, and the airport authority warned passengers to take the commuter train instead.

The chauffeurs then moved to the Place de la Nation, in eastern Paris, to continue their protest.

Recent weeks have seen protests both by taxi drivers, who complain of unfair competition from services such as Uber, and rival chauffeurs, who say they are victims of discrimination by the government.

Uber says it is not directly involved in the chauffeurs' protest, but supports the drivers. Uber and other car services gathered 150,000 letters of support from customers that they submitted to the prime minister's office this week.

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