05 November 2021
Here we go again. The Draghi government plays the card of taxi liberalization. It does so in the competition bill which yesterday received the go-ahead from the council of ministers. The rules aim to open the private transport market to other operators but, as has happened every time an executive has tried, taxi drivers have no desire to review their status. And even if for now it is not clear in which direction the revision of the rules for white cars will move, it is already clear that the major associations in the sector will raise barricades. The goal is to guarantee users greater quality guarantees and more competition with more stringent rules for taxi and NCC services, such as Uber. The instrument that will be adopted will be the delegation to the government to adopt a decree, within six months, on non-scheduled public transport. The principles that the delegation will have to follow, namely the “promotion of competition, also in the granting of licenses, in order to stimulate higher quality standards” and the “guarantee of a better consumer protection in the use of the service, in order to encourage a conscious choice in the offer ».
The new rules will also aim at harmonizing the regional and local authorities’ competences on the matter, in order to define national standards and to identify “effective, dissuasive and proportionate sanctions to the seriousness of the violation” against those who exercise public transport illegally by delegating the competence for the imposition of administrative sanctions on local authorities. So far the theory. However, if it is not clear how the sector will be regulated, and what degree of openness will be fixed, the taxi unions are ready to mobilize because they consider “unacceptable” the hypothesis of introducing “the sector of non-scheduled public transport in the Ddl. competition”. This declaration of war has already been delivered to Draghi with a joint note from Ugl taxi, Federtaxi Cisal, Tam, Satam, Claai, Unimpresa, Usb taxi, Or.SA taxi, Ati Taxi, Fast Confsal and Associazione Tutela Legale Taxi. A protest supported by the fact that, according to the workers, the sector has already undergone significant innovations. “The legislation governing the sector has already been thoroughly revised and adapted to the times in 2019 – they explained – and has largely passed the legitimacy test of the Constitutional Court, then chaired by Minister Marta Cartabia. To date – continued the note – it is only necessary to conclude the reform process with the approval of the envisaged implementing decrees and of a Dpcm for the regulation of apps, already in the legislative availability of the Prime Minister’s Office “.
In short, the taxi drivers have already given but they fear that they will be asked for a further sacrifice given that the interests at stake are very strong. The possibility “that institutions can give in to the pressures exerted by particular interest groups and the hungry aims of large multinationals that manage technological intermediation platforms, thus abandoning workers in the sector to blackmail and exploitation, effectively transforming them from drivers into riders, will see our firm and hard opposition ». It will still be war then. As in July 2006 when Minister Bersani (Prodi government) tried to liberalize taxi licenses without success after the protests. In 2012 Monti also tried without results. Now Draghi tries.