Category: World / January 10, 2013 11:56 AM EST
Taxi drivers in France went on strike on Thursday (January 10) bringing traffic chaos to Paris and other leading cities with wildcat actions that blocked roads as part of a protest against liberalization they say will cost them their livelihoods.
In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, police stood by powerless as taxis blocked a junction forcing traffic behind to pile up.
Taxi drivers, many of whom are self-employed, are unhappy with the extension of pre-booked minicabs, similar to those that exist in many major countries, but which are not subjected to the same legislation as official taxis.
They are also furious at government plans to break the monopoly they currently hold on the transport of outpatients to and from hospitals -- a steady source of income for many taxis especially in rural areas.