Budapest, January 20 (MTI) – The government has adopted the position that the taxi drivers demonstrating in Budapest should be supported in their call for fair conditions on the passenger transport market, state secretary Bence Tuzson said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The government sees strict regulation justified in this case, which would apply to all players, he said. The government will start talks with taxi drivers about long-term regulations which can benefit everyone, include sanctions for offenders and are feasible from a tax point of view. On the other hand, until this agreement is reached, for at least six weeks, a temporary system needs to be put in place which can exercise sanctions against those who break current rules. This temporary system is likely to include audits by the tax authority NAV.
The government asks taxi drivers to stop demonstrations and start talks. The National Development Ministry will represent the government during the talks, Tuzson said.
Asked if ride-hailing company Uber would be banned, Tuzson said there is no talk of banning, it is all about across-the-board conditions and strict regulations for passenger transport. He added however that the end of the whole process could be that if Uber does not keep to rules it will be banned. The government will not hold talks directly with Uber nor will it invite them to negotiations, he said.
Taxi drivers have been obstructing traffic in central Budapest since Monday morning, protesting against Uber.