Police arrest three taxi drivers in Barcelona after attacks against Uber and Cabify cars
Drivers detained for public disorder as indefinite strike continues and blocks major avenues in the city center
Catalan police arrested three taxi drivers in Barcelona on Friday evening for public disorders after attacks against Uber and Cabify cars in the city center.
Some drivers attacked cars from ridesharing platforms. Police intervened in at least five of those attacks, and made the arrests. One driver from one of the ridesharing companies suffered a panic attack during the incidents. His car was severely destroyed.
Taxi drivers began an indefinite strike on Friday against a new Catalan government regulation on ridesharing firms that they don't agree with.
The Catalan cabinet proposes obliging firms such as Uber and Cabify to only accept services hired at least 15 minutes before.
Taxi drivers wanted these services to be hired at least six hours before, while ridesharing company sources said on Friday that measures like this one will mean their "end" in Catalonia and accused the government of falling into the "blackmail" of the taxi sector.
Business associations warned that a new taxi strike will affected an already "damaged image" of Barcelona.
"It's a very important time for us, as it's a sales weekend," said Barcelona Oberta business association president Gabriel Jené.
"We urge authorities to restore public order and protect the general interests of the city, especially its image," he added.
The Catalan minister in charge of mobility, Damià Calved, said in a press conference that the proposed regulation is "proportional" and allows for both VTC cars and traditional taxis to coexist in a time of evolution towards a more "digitalized world."