Tension at the airport on Saturday. | Miquel Àngel Llabrés

Taxi drivers in Palma are going to join national strike action today and there will minimal services, if any, between 9am and 4pm.

There were restricted services and tension at Palma airport on Saturday and today the situation is expected to reach boiling point with cabbies at the airport already furious over the continuing operation of pirate taxis, despite measures taken by the authorities in attempting to eradicate illegal taxi services.

Taxi drivers across Spain will be protesting against competitors such as Uber and Cabify which they say are unfairly threatening their livelihoods.

The strike began in Barcelona last week and spread on Saturday to Madrid and Palma as drivers demanded action from the government, which is due to meet their representatives at midday.

Strikes or partial stoppages have been called in Valencia, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Seville as well. The strike was sparked after the Spanish government appealed a ruling by the Barcelona authorities that limited the number of licences for Uber-style services.

Taxi-driver associations want the authorities to strictly enforce the legislation under which there should be 30 traditional taxis for each VTC (vehicle for hire with driver). There are only five traditional taxis for every VTC, they say, warning that they will extend their action to blocking ports, airports and even the border with France if Madrid fails to act.

In Barcelona, hundreds of black and yellow taxis parked for a third day on the Gran Via. Some drivers camped out there, sleeping on mattresses, in tents or in their taxis. VTC drivers have in turn criticised the taxi drivers, claiming that they were attacked in Barcelona last week.

"We sincerely hope that the state does not give in to blackmail from violent people," said Unauto, the platform which represents Uber and Cabify.