France Issues Ban On Taxi App Uber After Violent Paris Protests


France Issues Ban On Taxi App Uber After Violent Paris Protests

Scofflaw taxi service Uber can no longer legally operate in France after the country's interior minister banned the company following violent protests against it by taxi drivers yesterday.

Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the service "illegal" and ordered prosecutors and police to close it down.

The closure order came a day after violent protests by French taxi drivers who believe Uber is responsible for a major drop in their incomes over the two years the car sharing service has been operating in the country.

Uber officials say they will not heed the close down order until the highest court in France makes a ruling on whether Uber is legal or illegal, a move described by an attitude Cazeneuve as "cynical and arrogant".

Uber spokesman Thomas Meister said "The way things work in a state of law is that it's for the justice to judge whether something is legal or illegal".

During the protests major roads around Paris were blocked with overturned cars and burning tires. Barriers also were erected on roads in Marseilles and the southeast area of Aix-en-Provence .

Aeroports de Paris, which operates Paris's Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, advised passengers to use trains. Some passengers were forced to walk along the expressway to get to the airport.

Abdelkader Morghad, a representative of the FTI taxi union said his members were angry because Uber was able to offer low fares because they were not paying for taxi licenses which thousands of dollars.

Uber, which is headquartered in San Francisco said, there are a million Uber users in France.

The problems the company faces in France are not new as it has had similar problems all over the world with traditional taxi drivers angry about being undercut by Uber drivers and is embroiled in dozens of lawsuits for running an unlicensed taxi service.

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