Pyrénées-Orientales: taxis are threatening to block the border

Spanish taxi drivers can move a 2006 law to protect themselves from competition from their French colleagues on Iberian soil.

With the support of other craft trades (construction, catering trade, etc..) And their colleagues in the Aude, the Ariege and Gard, taxis Pyrenees-Orientales may well in the weeks coming come to block part of the Franco-Spanish border. The engine of such a movement? Artisans taxis see red since the fines were imposed twice their colleagues responsible for customers in Catalonia after a telephone reservation.

"They have a law that allows us to verbalize says Emile Garcia, president of the taxi union in the Pyrenees-Orientales. This law dates from 2006, but they had never applied. And all of a sudden. " Suddenly, a first driver is fined for coming to get a customer in the border town of Junquera. 1001 euros anyway.


Rebelote last week when a taxi from Canet-en-Roussillon was verbalized to Girona Airport where he had come to support two clients who booked their race one week in advance. 1501 euros quadrille this time. The driver, who had no money on it, had to abandon his vehicle. She has recovered at the end of the week.

But for French taxis, demand beyond the border is significant, besides the usual races, eg they are asked to "recover members of insurance companies broke down the other side," according to the union.

Why so hard from the Iberian authorities? Emile Garcia rather suspect them lobbying colleagues on the other side of the Pyrenees, where taxis unite to defend a profession already weakened by the crisis.


"Times are tough and no one was spared," suggests Mr. Garcia. But "when they go looking for customers at Perpignan station and bring them back to Spain, it is a problem for us. We simply ask reciprocity. " Reciprocity that require to be applied harmonized in Member States of the European Union. The taxi union has challenged the MEP Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, from the town, so that it approaches the subject with his counterparts in Parliament.

If, contrary to what the French union, the Spanish law abhorred is in accordance with Article 56 of the European Treaty on the freedom to provide services, it will operate fine with other member countries including neighboring countries with zealously Community directive. European legislation excludes from services liberalization transport services such as ambulances, port services, urban transport and taxis (paragraph 21).


Meanwhile, sixty artisans have already shown April 20 in Perpignan to the Spanish consulate, representation of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the prefecture, causing a "beautiful mess", according to local newspaper The Independent.

Appointment was made through an elected Perpignan, with an authority of the Government of Catalonia to try to resolve the issue amicably. But if the block trading, artisans make body around the profession and prevent any activity on both sides of the border. "The goal is not to blackmail but if you do not give us a choice. It will take between 450 and 500 cars, expects Mr. Garcia, at least. "

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