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Europe taxi drivers protest against unlicenced mobile car-hailing services

Published on Jun 11, 2014 11:18 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Taxi drivers in London, Paris and other European capitals plan to bring chaos to the streets on Wednesday in protest against unlicenced mobile car-hailing services such as Uber which have shaken up the industry.

California-based chauffeur car company Uber is the main target of the drivers' ire, but it is only one of many new smartphone-dependent car services seen as bypassing strict regulations faced by licenced drivers.

"Uber is deliberately not respecting regulations and on top of that has significant financial means," said Mr Serge Metz, chief executive of France's Taxi G7.

The protest comes just days after Uber was valued at a whopping US$17 billion (S$21 billion), one of the highest-ever figures for a technology startup. Launched in 2009, the Uber app allows clients to connect directly with "black car" services, a thriving model which has seen it and similar companies surge across the globe.

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