Talks to resolve the Calvia taxi dispute resumed yesterday evening after negotiations broke down yet again on Saturday. Representatives for the radio-taxi drivers and the councillor for economic development, Antonio García Moles, entered the talks hoping that a satisfactory solution to the dispute, which is now into its second week, can be found. The row, which has seen flash strikes and protests over the past ten days, causing chaos to travel plans in Calvia, is over the council's plan to increase the number of taxis. In an official statement ahead of Saturday's talks, the Mayor Margarita Najera, made it quite clear that Calvia needs more taxis to meet demand. The municipality's fleet of taxis has not been expanded in size since 1978, while the resident and visiting population has grown significantly. But while cabbies are against 40 more licences being issued this year over concerns for their livelihoods, the slow summer season and drop in business has increased the taxi drivers' concerns. However, ahead of yesterday's talks, spokesperson for the association of taxi drivers, Antonio Matías, said that his members will be taking a different approach to the meeting and ask the council to reduce the number of new licences in a more “controlled and peaceful” manner. However, cabbies are unlikely to accept the council's proposed 40 new taxi licences. The council has been informed that taxi drivers have agreed on a maximum of 17 licences and that no more be issued for another five years. No more industrial action is expected. Antonio Matías said that while talks progress, all the taxi drivers will continue to work as usual “in the hope that we soon see a result to talks.” But Matías added that the cabbies and council have now held five meetings “and the council has not given an inch on any thing.” The seven days of strikes and protest action which ended last week hit the cabbies hard in their pockets and angered the local community and tourists and while they are worried about more licences, they can no longer afford not to be working.


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