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German taxi drivers protest against liberalization plan

Berlin taxi drivers block the boulevard 'Strasse des 17. Juni', Street of June 17, in front of the Brandenburg Gate, during a protest in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Taxi driver protest against government plans over the growth of app-based ride-hailing services that they say threaten their livelihood. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Taxi drivers have snarled traffic in Berlin and other German cities in a slow-driving protest against government plans to liberalize the market.

Taxis in Berlin converged on the capital’s famous Brandenburg Gate, filling up the wide boulevard that leads west from the monument. Wednesday’s protests also disrupted traffic into the city’s Tegel airport, which is only reachable by road.

The transport ministry plans to ease conditions for rivals such as Uber, and groups representing taxi drivers say that would create unfair competition.

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer sought to reassure protesters in Berlin, saying that “no one wants unregulated, unjust and unfair conditions in passenger transport like they have in other countries.”

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