Alberto Álvarez, spokesperson for the Elite Taxi federation.

02-08-2018Marta Perez

Spanish taxi drivers have called off their days-long strike against services like Uber after Madrid agreed to let regional governments regulate the sector. The strike began in Barcelona on Wednesday last week and spread to Madrid and Palma as drivers demanded action against what they believed was poor enforcement of regulations on VTCs (vehicles with drivers for hire).

This week, it spread to other cities, with taxi drivers blocking main roads and surrounding airports and train stations.

The strike mirrors other similar work stoppages in European countries, as taxi drivers across the continent complain that their livelihoods are threatened, arguing for instance that their licences are much more expensive than those for VTCs.

Spanish taxi federations strict enforcement of legislation under which there should be 30 traditional taxis for each VTC.

The taxi strike committee said in a statement that it had called off the work stoppage across Spain after the government said it would allow the country’s regional governments to regulate VTC licences. But it warned that taxi drivers would "remain vigilant" and "return to the streets" if this move does not lead to tighter controls.

Shops and restaurants in Madrid, Barcelona and Palma complained earlier Wednesday of a 15 to 30 per cent drop in sales due to the taxi strike. The Elite Taxi federation in Barcelona has apologised for any harm that the action has caused but insisted that it had to defend members' rights.