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Taxi drivers take their protest to the European District

Some 300 taxi drivers from across the EU are taking part in a protest against the alterative taxi hailing service Uber in Brussels today.  The drivers accuse Uber of unfair competition. 

The taxi drivers are making their way from the Koning Albert II laan via the inner orbital ring road Kleine Ring to the Schuman roundabout and the European District.  Police have warned of traffic chaos and advise drivers to avoid the area.

Traditional taxi drivers in Brussels and beyond are unhappy with competition from Uber and what they call its aggressive growth strategy.  Uber drivers stand accused of undercutting conventional taxi services and putting them out of business.

Demonstrators want the European commission to investigate Uber’s practises.

Alexandre Taha, who operates a taxi business is Brussels, told VRT: “A lot with regard to taxi services has been decided under pressure from Uber.  We want to know the truth. What exactly happened?”  

A delegation of taxi drivers is visiting the office of Brussels premier Rudi Vervoort (Francophone socialist) to explain their grievances.  So far, most of the disruption was centred on the inner orbital and the Rogier and Kunst-Wet Tunnels that have been closed.  The focus of the traffic chaos is expected to shift to the European District this afternoon as the taxi caravan heads for Schuman roundabout.

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