Palma.—Tension boiled over early yesterday afternoon when an unauthorised minibus, or pirate taxi as the cabbies call them, was spotted picking up a group of holiday makers at the airport.

Taxi drivers immediately abandoned their vehicles and staged a mass protest, blocking the road and preventing any coaches or the airport bus from leaving.

On Thursday, taxi drivers staged a similar protest leaving hundreds of bewildered tourists stranded for the best part of two hours.

Yesterday, however, the Local and National Police were rapidly on the scene and the dispute was diffused in just over half an hour during which time lengthy queues of holiday makers waiting for a taxi had built up.

There is supposed to be an inspector on hand to make sure that no unofficial taxis are operating in and out of the airport but cabbies claim that more inspectors are needed as tensions are clearly running very high.

Last week, the Local Police in Calvia intercepted a pirate taxi without the necessary permission and licenses to run tourists back and forth to the airport. The Balearic Government has said that it will intervene and crack down on pirate taxis and cabbies hope that any action is taken swiftly or they are threatening to bring the airport to a halt.