Italy taxi drivers protest in Rome against Uber

Police seal off area around Italian parliament as taxi drivers protest.

Italian taxi drivers demonstrated near parliament in central Rome on Wednesday, in protest over the government's competition bill amid claims that deregulating the sector would favour multinationals over independent drivers.

Police have cordoned off the area around Palazzo Chigi, seat of government buildings, as hundreds of taxi drivers from all over Italy chant slogans against premier Mario Draghi and ride-hailing app Uber.

Footage shows large crowds of protesters on Via del Corso, amid flares and firecrackers, after five taxi driver union representatives spent the night chained to the railings in front of Palazzo Chigi in protest at the bill which they say will favour the expansion of Uber.

The unannounced demonstration in Rome, the latest in weeks of protests, follows a wildcat protest by taxi drivers across Italy on Tuesday, one week after a two-day nationwide strike on 5-6 July.

Rome's airport management company Aeroporti di Roma has warned of disruption for those making their way to and from Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, advising travellers to uses buses or trains instead.

Photo ANSA - Emanuele Valeri