Uber is a service that has garnered its fair share of publicity before – and there are people who would flock to defend the role of Uber in today’s world, while others, such as taxi drivers, are certainly far from happy with the sense that Uber is eating into their livelihood. Well, France’s interior minister has just issued a ban on the low-cost car-sharing service known as UberPOP, and this ban comes about after the entire country saw protests held by taxi drivers.
Bernard Cazeneuve claims that the UberPOP service was “illegal”, and asked police as well as prosecutors to close it down. The protests by taxi drivers in France were mostly peaceful, although there were instances that turned violent. All key highways around Paris were blocked, while tyres were used as bonfire fuel throughout the day. There were also barriers that were erected around Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.
Apart from that, things also turned ugly in other places as several cars were overturned, while others saw their windows being smashed. I suppose France’s taxi drivers have reason to feel aggrieved – they have paid thousands of euros for a licence after all, and UberPOP is undercutting them in an unfair manner. Thankfully, Uber has banned riders as well as drivers from carrying firearms, otherwise a highly charged emotional situation might turn ugly with a gun on the scene.