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France cracks down on Uber after taxi driver protests

Updated: 2015-06-26 10:20

France cracks down on Uber after taxi driver protests

Taxi drivers on strike burn tyres during a national protest against car-sharing service Uber in Marseille, France, June 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - France ordered a nationwide clampdown on UberPOP on Thursday, siding with taxi drivers who blockaded major transport hubs in angry protests against the popular online ride-sharing service.

Furious at what they regard as unfair competition, cabbies blocked roads to the capital's airports, overturned cars and burned tyres to press for the scheme to be abolished.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the violence and incidents "on both sides" as the government sought to take a tough stand on the protests while backing the drivers' case.

"They give a deplorable image to visitors to our country," he said during a visit to Colombia, adding that all available legal measures would be taken to halt the UberPOP activity.

Police said 70 cars were damaged and seven police officials injured in the protests. Ten people were arrested.

The protests were among the fiercest in a series of strikes and other demonstrations across Europe against San Francisco-based Uber, whose backers including investment bank Goldman Sachs and technology giant Google. It is valued in excess of $40 billion.

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