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Taxi drivers want price liberalisation

In the wake of the recent increase in prices for taxis in the capital Vienna there is now heated debate about the system used to govern fees.

Currently prices can only be raised after negotiations with the city council who need to authorise the rates.

But this arrangement is not really popular anymore with either side.

The taxi drivers want to be able to set the prices themselves and the city council has indicated that they don't necessarily object.

Taxi driver spokesman Christian Gerzabek said: "Every other tradesmen or service provider can choose what they want to charge on the open market. In contrast the taxi drivers have to make a pilgrimage every two years to the town hall to get the green light for a price increase."

Vienna mayor Michael Häupl (SPÖ) has already indicated some understanding for the taxi driver's complaint.

He said: "I can't really see why the needs to be city council approval over the rates."

He said he was open to discussions about whether or not the restrictions could be lifted after which the taxi drivers could choose their own rates without city council approval. Prices were increased from 1 December after the latest round of negotiations.

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