The Balearic government pleaded Palma taxi drivers “not to cause problems” at Palma airport today by going ahead with their industrial action. The Palma taxi fleet is threatening to carry out two four-hour stoppages today, the busiest day of the weekend for the airport, and the government warned taxi drivers to call the protest off “for the good of the tourism industry and the island's principal economic activity, tourism.” The row is raging over changes in the law adopted by central government in Madrid which have brought an end to Palma taxi drivers' exclusive right to collect clients at Palma airport. But now Palma cabbies face the threat of reprisals from non-Palma taxi drivers, angry over the way they have been treated by their colleagues this week and their rejection of the new law. Defiant non-Palma cabbies returned to Palma airport yesterday to drop off and collect passengers and six Palma taxi drivers have been reported to the police for violent and threatening behaviour. According to one taxi driver, a group of Palma cabbies tried to set fire to his taxi and the cabbies concerned warned that he and his colleagues have photographic evidence. Out-of-town taxi drivers yesterday called on the central government representative to the Balearics, Catalina Cirer, to provide them with police protection so that they can continue with their work in safety. Non-Palma registered taxi drivers are particularly worried about being targeted again today during the two protests at the airport and want national and local police out in force. An official letter of protest will be delivered to the government representative on Monday by the 400 non-Palma taxi drivers who are now planning their own protest in two weeks time.

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