Taxi drivers block traffic in down-town Belgrade

Source: N1

Belgrade’s taxi drivers hold a protest in the city’s central streets on Thursday, blocking traffic and threatening a hunger strike, demanding the government to change the law on the transport of passengers and ban a competition.

  Many taxis are parked outside Serbia’s Government building and the street is closed to traffic.

Apart from demanding the changes in the law, the taxi drivers want the government to ban their competition the Car:Go a digital platform offering driving services in Belgrade.

In its reaction to the latest Belgrade taxi drivers’ protest and demand for the repeal of their services, the Car:GO company said their users were quite happy with the services provided. „We do not understand why would someone want to abolish the company which employs a substantial number of people in Serbia, works in accordance with a law and has over 100,000 people who downloaded our application?”

Later on Thursday, the Car:Go company tweeted that it offered a 10 percent discount for the day to those who use promo cod “protest”.

The company’s tweet said they published a statement with all information on their work in order “to prevent further spreading of lies,” referring to Belgrade taxi drivers’ accusations.

The Ministry of transport also criticised the protesting taxi drivers.

Sasa Stojanovic, a Deputy Minister, said there was no reason for the protest. He said that the taxi union that organised the strike did it for self-promotion, adding it was hypocritical to take part in a working group for amending the law in question and then hit the streets in protest.  The Thursday’s protest is the continuation of Belgrade’s taxi drives’ demonstration and this time they said they would go on hunger strike if their demands were not met.