Rome taxi strike intensifies

Taxi strike in Rome enters sixth day.

Taxi drivers from across Italy are converging in Rome to protest against an amendment, currently before parliament, that would lead to the deregulation of the taxi sector.

The raft of measures, contained in the so-called Milleproroghe decree, has already been passed by the senate and is being discussed in parliament on 21 February.

Taxi drivers, who claim the amendment would favour multinational app-based car transport companies such as Uber, are holding an unauthorised protest at Piazza Montecitorio ahead of talks between Italian transport minister Graziano Delrio and trade unions representing the taxi sector.

Taxi services in Rome are still being offered to and from hospitals, and for disabled commuters, however there have been reports of striking taxi drivers threatening their colleagues who are still taking fares.

The cab drivers are being joined at Piazza Montecitorio by the city's street traders who are also holding an unauthorised demonstration in protest over the EU Bolkestein directive — designed to open up competition within the services sector — resulting in a deserted Campo de' Fiori market on 21 February.

Similar protests by taxi drivers are being held concurrently in Milan and Naples.