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Hungarian government submits bill proposal practically banning Uber

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LaMography/Moni Lazar

The Hungarian government yesterday submitted a bill proposal to Parliament that would practically ban the operations of U.S.-based ride-sharing service Uber in the country, according to reports. The Parliament could vote on the proposal by June 13 at the latest.

(Photo: LaMography/Moni Lazar)

The aim of the proposal is to prohibit internet access to illegal “taxi or taxi-like” dispatcher services, the explanation in the proposal says, according to Hungarian online daily origo.hu. Under the bill, relevant authorities would be eligible to block webpages for up to 365 days, which are related to transport services that do not operate under Hungaryʼs legal framework, origo.hu added. 

The proposal also says that drivers caught offering such illegal services could lose their driverʼs licenses for up to six months, and the car they are using to provide the service could be impounded for six months to three years, according to reports.

Scrutiny over ride-sharing services in Budapest has grown after Hungarian taxi drivers flooded the streets of the capital, claiming that such services operate illegally, do not follow Hungarian laws and therefore are able to offer low fares with which taxis cannot compete.

Hungarian taxi drivers held another demonstration in Budapest yesterday against ride-sharing services in the capital. Hungarian taxi drivers have demonstrated more than half a dozen times this year alone against services such as Uber.

When the government revealed last week details of the bill proposal submitted yesterday, Uberʼs Hungarian operators said the government is “ruining jobs” and “ignores the interests of 150,000 users”. Uberʼs Hungarian operators have said many times that they are ready to cooperate with Hungarian officials to overcome legal issues.

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