The Dubrovnik taxi boss has apologised to fellow citizens and to tourists, but insists the chaotic taxi blockade was in the name of wanting ”the same rules for everyone”.
As Dubrovački Dnevnik reported on the 1st of August, 2017, Božo Miletić has made a statement regarding the spontaneous taxi blockade that began in Dubrovnik a few days ago and quickly spread to other areas of the country, including Split and Zagreb. The blockade, in protest of Uber’s services in Croatia, resulted in many tourists missing their flights owing to the inability to use the Adriatic Highway which runs from Dubrovnik down to the Montenegrin border, in order to reach the airport (Cilipi) for departure.
“As I’ve already pointed out, I wasn’t the organiser of the protest, I came in person and stopped my vehicle. I’m disappointed by the fact that the Government didn’t see fit to protect the law it itself had enforced. We do not seek a privileged position and we aren’t looking for benefits, we just want to have the same rules apply to everyone for the law to be applicable to us all. What would it come to if we said we don’t want to respect the rule of law? Will we soon allow for violence or for bank robbery? I wonder who protects Uber and is there corruption there if someone simply just allows it to violate the law?” questioned Božo Miletić, the President of Dubrovnik’s taxi services.
Miletić added that he understood the dissatisfaction of citizens and tourists due to the traffic chaos that occurred as a direct result of the protest in Dubrovnik and that one of the most important goals is to ”provide quality passenger services”, although many, many people in Dubrovnik with experience of local taxi drivers would disagree entirely with that statement.
“What we want to state is the following: Individuals who drive for Uber are not trained for the carriage of passengers. They don’t need to have secured vehicles which meet the minimal technical requirements, they don’t even have the licenses or the permits to carry out the services of a taxi, there is nothing that states that they have not been found to have been punished for offenses against traffic safety and general security, there is nothing that proves whether or not they’ve been punished for other criminal offenses either. These are all terms that all other taxi drivers have to meet. This puts us in a disadvantageous position, which is unconstitutional,” Miletić said.
”It isn’t without reason that taxi services are regulated by the law, because the engagement of the transportation of passengers as an activity can only by done by those who are trained, trusted and drive vehicles which meet the minimum technical requirements. The law can be changed and we can initiate a public debate about it, there is certainly room for improvement, but then everything must be under equal conditions. The safety of the passengers must always be paramount, and Uber is in breach of security!” added a frustrated Miletić.
“That is why I apologise once again for all the inconveniences that were caused during last week’s gathering in Dubrovnik. However, our resources are exhausted, we have nowhere and nothing else to which to turn, and in this way I appeal once more to those [in a ruling position] to find an urgent solution to this situation which has been going on for far too long and to do the job for which they are paid, by others, as well as by us.” Miletić concluded.
Excerpts taken and translated from Dubrovački Dnevnik