As the governing team responsible for managing Alicante-Elche Airport try to appease their own taxi drivers by clamping down on both illegal pirate drivers and legal taxi drivers from outside their area, they may now face a legal battle through the courts for violating rules on free competition.
A control system was set up at Alicante-Elche Airport, with two specific functions, firstly to catch out and take action against private car owners who take money doing “airport runs” and therefore constitute the definition of a “pirate taxi”, for which they have no liability insurance and take away from the livelihoods of those who pay a substantial amount to be legally registered. The second element was to restrict legal and licensed taxis from outside the Elche area to a maximum number of trips per month, which was set at up to 6, thus reducing the number of times a taxi from a different municipalities licensing jurisdiction can operate.
It is the latter part of the campaign which may now lead to a legal battle, as the Chamber of Commerce in Murcia has taken up the battle on behalf of that region´s taxi drivers, as they claim that the new rule violates the laws of free competition, and have therefore submitted an objection to the Directorate General Transport and Logistics of the Government, for which they claim has “no legal coverage”, and conflicts with the established national laws which only expressly requires prior booking of the service, without setting any limit or quota on the number journeys made.
The Chamber of Commerce of Murcia has therefore announced their absolute rejection of the controls implemented by the Mayor of Elche, Mercedes Alonso, and has announced that they “will not hesitate to resort to the administrative jurisdiction in the event that the contested decision is confirmed”.
A previous case in which Elche attempted to enforce rules on taxis from outside their area faced a Superior Court ruling in Valencia in 2003, during which the courts ruled in favour of the Chamber of Commerce, as their insistence in drivers having additional documentation violated the rules referred to in this case, that of the nationally recognised requirement to simply have booked the service in advance.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43639/