The taxi association Amics of Alcudia has complained that members of rival association Taxis Alcudia have stopped them picking up fares at certain hotels. It has filed a complaint at the town hall, asking the town council for protection so that we can carry out our work. Members of the association said that they have received threats of physical violence and have been told their cabs will be set on fire. The complaint is filed in the name of 12 cabbies who belong to the association. It names two cabbies who belong to Taxis Alcudia, which represents 34 licence-holders. It is alleged that they said in front of witnesses that they had cans of petrol and could cause irreparable damage. The complaint came after an incident last weekend, when members of the two associations clashed. The dispute is over the alleged breaking of a verbal agreement between the two associations, to distribute the fares from hotels in the municipality by areas. The latest incident, recorded by the police, occurred when a cabbie belonging to the Amics association went to a hotel in Alcanada. According to Mayor Antoni Alemany, cabbies of the rival association surrounded the driver and prevented him from driving away until the fare left the vehicle. The council is now studying disciplinary action against the cabbies who blocked the rival cab. Penalties range from a 300 euro fine to suspension of the licence. The Mayor and his deputy Miquel Ferrer admitted that it was not the first time that there had been such an incident in the municipality, and the council is still investigating an incident which occurred three months ago. On that occasion, the Mayor said, the heads of the two associations were called to a meeting and were told that verbal agreements were not covered by the regulations and if the incident was repeated then the strict letter of the law would be applied. He said that no special protection would be given to the cabbies as the police protect all citizens on an equal footing and they should not receive specific instructions on how to act in this type of situation. Alemany said that the complaint about threats had been handed over to the Local Police for them to take action as the council's legal department has said that it is a penal, not an administrative problem. Both Alemany and Ferrer said that the council would see that the service was maintained and users' rights protected.
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