National Police officers were forced to step in and keep the warring taxi drivers apart again on Sunday afternoon at Palma airport when angry Palma cabbies launched a flash two-hour protest over changes in the law which allow non-Palma registered cabs to collect passengers at ports of entry. The protest was unexpected, but police managed to prevent the two sides from clashing and angry taxi drivers spent two hours firing volleys of verbal abuse at one another. Nevertheless, arriving passengers were faced with no taxis for two hours and forced to endure lengthy waits between 4pm and 6pm. This latest round in the dispute prompted the appearance of representatives from the Balearic Transport Ministry and the Palma City Council and it appears that the city council and city cabbies have agreed to hold off industrial action this week, during which time the council hopes to have reached a solution with central government - who approved the changes in the law. Sources for the city council, which supports its taxi drivers, said yesterday that Madrid must realise that they are to blame for the dispute in Palma and will have to think again about their change in the law. Initially Palma taxi drivers were threatening a series of weekly protests - taxi service at the airport and in Palma were brought to a halt on three separate occasions last week - but with the weekend being the busiest three days of the year so far for the airport and traffic set to continue increasing every week throughout the summer, the authorities know they need to resolve the taxi dispute, otherwise tensions are going to rise and problems increase.

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