Spanish taxi strike against app services spreads to Madrid | 1/21/2019 | Staff
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Madrid taxi drivers began an open-ended strike Monday against online ride-hailing services like Uber, joining their counterparts in Barcelona who walked off the job three days ago.

Barcelona's striking taxi drivers, many wearing yellow vests like protesters against the government in neighbouring France, blocked central streets and tried to force their way into the Catalan regional parliament but were held back by police.

Police - Protesters - Batons - Officers - Objects

Some police struck the protesters with their batons while three officers were injured by objects thrown at them by demonstrators, said a spokesman for Catalonia's regional police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra.

In the Spanish capital hundreds of striking taxi drivers gathered in the central Sol square outside the headquarters of the Madrid regional government as a police helicopter hovered overhead. Some set off firecrackers.

Taxi - Drivers - Strike - Days - Start

The taxi drivers' strike comes just two days before the start in Madrid of the Fitur international tourism fair, one of the world's largest.

Spanish taxi drivers complain that rival drivers from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Cabify compete unfairly since they do not have the same regulations and costs.

Sandra - Serrano - Madrid - Taxi - Driver

Sandra Serrano, a 32-year-old Madrid taxi driver with eight years experience, said ride-hailing app drivers need to be regulated more tightly because "they drive around the streets and capture our clients and we are a bit sick of it."

"We don't mind that they exist but...
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