Cabbies want the meter to start at 500 pesetas (currently 300 pesetas) over Christmas and the New Year. The taxi owners association has written to the city council, asking for the increase to operate between 9pm on December 24 and 6am on December 26, and also from 9pm on December 31 to midnight on January 1. The cabbies are annoyed at the council's refusal to increase daytime fares in the New Year, and at the new four pesetas a litre tax which the central government has just slapped on petrol. Taxi owners have slammed the new tax and say that the sector is going through a crisis. A spokesman said that insurance now costs them between 600'000 and 900'000 pesetas and fewer people are taking taxis because of the recession.

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