“It’s not complicated: before I put 20 euros in gasoline every day, now I put 35, that’s 450 euros per month more,” summarizes Pascal Challita, spokesperson for United Tenants of Taxi (LUT ). Taxis demonstrated in several cities in France on Wednesday and a few hundred of them gathered outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Paris to demand emergency measures in the face of soaring fuel prices.
In Bordeaux, around 100 taxis joined by around 20 driving schools and around 15 heavy goods vehicles slowly paraded bumper to bumper on one lane of the outer ring road, creating a traffic jam of around 5 km at the midday, according to the Gironde prefecture. “The national federations of our professions have negotiated advances that do not satisfy the base”, explained Éric Roulière-Laumonier, vice-president of the Union of taxis of the metropolis and Gironde (STCG).
In Nantes, another gathering brought together around 70 taxis. They carried out a snail operation at the start of the afternoon on the ring road towards the airport, causing major traffic jams and a virtual blockage of north-south traffic on the Cheviré bridge which spans the Loire.
Inability to make ends meet
The taxis, united at the call of the National Taxi Federation (FNDT) and the United Taxi Tenants (LUT), are demanding various measures such as a return of VAT to 5.5% (it is currently at 10%), a floating TICPE (domestic consumption tax on energy products) and aid for the transition to electric vehicles.
Milan Dejmanovic, who came to represent tenant taxis in Paris, denounced the impossibility for his colleagues to make ends meet. “Before I was at 900 euros for diesel per month (for a van), now I’m at 1,700. I pay 120 euros for rental per day at the G7, so 3,600 euros per month. How do you expect these days to earn 5,600 euros per month? And I did not count the charges for you, ”he denounces.
Responding to a tweet from Marine Le Pen, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire recalled that the State had set up a discount of 15 cents per liter of fuel as well as an increase in their prices.
Victor Correia, a taxi in Grigny en Essonne, for his part explained that he saw his diesel tank go “to 130 or even sometimes 145 euros” against less than 100 euros previously. The regulated taxi fare was recently increased by 3.5% to offset rising fuel costs. “But why would it always be up to the consumer to pay? “, he was indignant, preferring a drop in taxes. Emmanuelle Cordier, president of the FNDT, asked for “professional fuel” with preferential rates for taxi artisans.
The devices for a transition to electric vehicles are also inefficient, lamented the FNDT. The lack of battery autonomy means that “the vehicles are not suitable for our profession”, assured David Bauer, FNDT manager in Essonne. Especially since in Île-de-France, aid of 6,000 euros for the purchase of an electric car is planned but only for vehicles under 50,000 euros, but “there is not enough models at that price,” he insisted. On Monday, VTC drivers demonstrated across France for similar reasons.