Talks between taxi drivers and the ministry of economic development broke down on 13 July, prompting wildcat demonstrations that slowed traffic and blocked Piazza Venezia in Rome. Taxi drivers are protesting against new laws brought in by the government at the end of June that will liberalise the issue of taxi licences with the aim of increasing the availability of cabs in the city. Cities across Italy were thrown into chaos earlier this month when taxi drivers staged unprogrammed strikes, blocked streets, and left passengers stranded at airports. The government is determined to bring the liberalisation laws into effect but has been negotiating on the details. The recent breakdown in negotiations was due to a government suggestion that a single licence could be used for two taxis, instead of one licence for eight taxis as the government proposed at the beginning of July.
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