Friday, June 26, 2015

Hollande wants qu’UberPop be “disbanded and declared illegal” – Les Echos

Speaking to the press at the European summit in Brussels last night, Hollande wished Uberpop be declared “illegal”. The blockade of Paris train stations and airports of Roissy and Orly was lifted Friday.

After the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Prime Minister Manuel Valls is François Hollande who had to step into the breach to calm the revolt taxis. Having condemned the “unacceptable violence” committed during the taxi drivers protests Thursday in France, he said that on the night UberPop application for paid transport between particular, should be “disbanded and declared illegal.” This was the main demand of taxis. But if the president has made clear his wish, only a court can make such an effective ban.

Friday in Paris the blockade taxis outside the train stations was lifted as the North Station, where taxis were working normally Friday morning. The traffic was also normal to Orly and Roissy and access to cleared platforms.

Yesterday, the day of mobilization taxis was marred by violence, nearly 3,000 angry taxis have blocked railway stations and airports to denounce the “wild competition” of the mobile application.

“There is violence that are unacceptable in a democracy, unacceptable in a country like France, “said the French president told reporters at an EU summit in Brussels, even, he conceded, if one can” understand that there is exasperation. ” “UberPOP should be disbanded and declared illegal and the seizure of vehicles should be imposed and carried out,” he added. But he recalled “ not the state can seize vehicles himself” before entering “be authorized by court decisions .”

Previously, the government and particularly the Interior Minister had highlighted the reality of this process. While reaffirming its commitment to close UberPoP, described the evening as “illegal service.” Bernard Cazeneuve recalled, however, after his meeting with the unions of taxis that closing the application could only be the result of a court decision. He also proposed that UberPOP vehicles are “systematically seized when caught”


Pledges enough?

So strike or not strike this Friday? The dozen taxi unions mobilized proved cautious on this point. The National Union of Taxi Industries (UNIT), which brings together a large number of professional organizations, called on its members to return to work “on Friday morning,” considering that “ the climate of trust was restored “after meeting with the Interior Minister. “ We have obtained sufficient pledges to call for a resumption of activity ,” it added in a statement.

We advise drivers to break camp, for us the strike is lifted , “said for his part told AFP Abdel Ghalfi, of the CFDT. “ But some taxis want to stay Porte Maillot ” instead of the Parisian west they block since Thursday morning, he added in the late evening, without excluding new ” isolated “actions.

“If a large number of taxis want to continue, we will support,” warned Karim Asnoun (CGT). More radical, Ibrahima Sylla, the organization Taxis de France, assured wanting to continue the movement. “ Taxis remain Porte Maillot “, he began. A hundred of ex were on hand Friday morning (see video below)

The place was still blocked Thursday by dozens of taxis, in a much calmer atmosphere than in the morning. Dany, 29, sums up despite demonstrators: “They take us for hams”

In the morning, on the same square, taxis stormed and burned. two car transportation with driver (VTC) –pourtant authorized and having nothing to do with UberPOP–, provoking the intervention of security forces.

10 people arrested

Throughout France, ten people were arrested Thursday” under the excesses seen during the protests of taxi drivers “seven injured policemen, and 70 vehicles damaged, according to Bernard Cazeneuve.

Condemning the violence “unacceptable”, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has promised that the perpetrators, “which are found in both camps,” would ” pursued “.

Lawyers of UberPOP drivers accused them of organizing taxis” in private militias “and mount” ambushes “.

UberPop “may continue”

As for the American group VTC Uber (legal activity), which also offers UberPop (illegal activity), it challenging the constitutionality of the law on road transport and appealed his conviction to 100,000 euro fine for improperly presented UberPOP as a carpool service.

The call, which will be reviewed in October, is suspensive, Uber has maintained its service at bargain prices. Its managing director for France, Thibaud Simphal, assured yesterday that pending court decisions, “UberPOP can continue.”

“There has already been a judicial decision and UberPOP was not considered illegal” , he said Friday morning France Info


In the capital, traffic was disrupted. The access to the station from the North to the Gare de Lyon were blocked by dozens of cars. At Orly airport, strikers were hunting for illegal drivers, and Roissy, the access to several terminals were blocked for several hours. In both airports, VTC overthrew people, injuring them slightly.

A total of 2,800 to 3,000 taxis were mobilized in France (out of 55,000) with a ” thirty stumbling blocks “according to a police source. UberPOP boasts 400,000 users in France. But its drivers pay neither taxes nor contributions, have not followed the required 250 hours of training and are not insured professionally. Unregistered drivers could face up to one year in prison, 15,000 euro fine, license suspension and confiscation of the vehicle.


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