There was some tension during the taxi-drivers' demonstration in Madrid. | Twitter


A taxi-driver demonstration yesterday in Madrid against "VTC" services (vehicles with drivers) resulted in a clash with National Police, who mounted a small charge against protesters. One person had been detained, which provoked cries of "we are taxi drivers, not terrorists" and then the charge by police officers.

The demonstration started at midday and was specifically aimed at the Uber and Cabify services. Where these services operate, taxi drivers argue that they are having a significant impact, especially at train stations and airports.

Parties in Congress were yesterday handed a document by the Spanish Taxi Federation which calls for the creation of a digital platform that will enable users to order taxis in the whole of Spain. This would be something at a "state level" and be along similar lines to Uber and Cabify digital presence. The federation is also calling for financial assistance plans for those who cease to be taxi drivers. It wants a public and private sector joint initiative to compensate taxi drivers for pre-retirement and cessation of activity.

In Barcelona there was a 24-hour stoppage by taxi drivers. In Madrid itself, the stoppage was from six in the morning until six in the evening. In the Valencia region it was for two hours from midday until two in the afternoon.

Uber, meanwhile, sent users emails which defended its business model and apologised for any difficulties caused by the taxi-driver protests. Cabify said that it respects the taxi drivers' right to strike, adding that it hoped to be operating normally.

Uber was ordered by the courts to stop operating in Spain in late 2014. By March last year, it had returned with its UberX service, using VTC licences, which have different regulations to the taxi sector.

Neither Uber nor Cabify operates in Majorca.