Thursday, 18 October 2018

KDU-ČSL for law to regulate Uber transport services

19 October 2017

Prague, Oct 18 (CTK) - The Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will propose a bill after the general election to set rules for the operation of alternative taxi services such as Uber and introduce basic rules for taxis and their alternatives, with taxis being granted certain advantages, Pavel Belobradek said on Wednesday.

Belobradek, KDU-CSL chairman and outgoing deputy prime minister, told a press conference that shared economy is a phenomenon that cannot be halted.

"We are convinced that it is meaningless to ban it. It is rather necessary to impose rules on Uber and similar services so that they really pay taxes and insurance contributions," Belobradek said.

He said both standard and alternative taxi services will parallelly exist in the future.

"The classical tax service should be less regulated than now. At the same time, it should keep its privileges such as a special road lane, taxi stands etc," Belobradek said.

Although the regulation of taxis is up to municipal directives, Belobradek wants a national law to be passed as a framework piece of legislation, he said.

The law should declare basic rules to prevent municipalities from banning alternative services, Belobradek said, referring to Brno, where a court issued a preliminary injunction to ban Uber.

Shared economy, including Uber and also the Airbnb accommodation service, appeared in the limelight in September when several conflicts between taxi and Uber drivers occurred in Prague, mainly at the airport.

The centre-left cabinet, of which the KDU-CSL is a part, discussed shared economy in July, when PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) asked ministers to prepare documents for possible legislative changes in this area, which might be made by the new government to emerge from the October 20-21 general election.

According to a government analysis, rules should be set that would neither bar nor discourage from shared economy, but should prevent unfair competition and ensure the protection of consumers.

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