Government increases scrutiny of taxi services

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Under a sanction the Hungarian government is planning to introduce, providers of dispatcher services for taxis without a permit could be fined HUF 300,000, according to the National Development Ministry, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.

The measure is expected to come into effect on March 11, MTI reported. In February, the government amended a decree that would allow officials to immediately remove and confiscate the license plates of taxi drivers who operate without the necessary permits, MTI noted. 

The ministry said that the government will maintain regular communication with representatives of taxi drivers and taxi companies, and will continue to monitor the effects of measures it introduces as part of its crackdown on illegal taxi service providers. If necessary, the ministry will consider the introduction of further sanctions, it added, according to MTI. 

The ministry stressed that the Hungarian government supports legally operating, tax-paying taxi drivers, MTI reported. 

The government’s attention was drawn to the plight of taxi drivers in Hungary after taxi drivers demonstrated in central Budapest for four days in January, requesting that Uber be shut down. Uber said at a press conference in February that it would stand by its drivers, after the government announced that unlicensed Uber drivers could lose their license plates if caught by officials.

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