Yerevan taxi drivers protest
A group of taxi drivers held a demonstration in Yerevan today in protest against a new licensing procedure according to which their cars cannot be older than six years. However, the majority of taxi drivers own older automobiles and cannot afford to buy new ones.
“We would have to buy newly-produced cars, pay for credit and live under its weight in order to drive a taxi,” said For Karapetyan, one of the drivers.
He says that if he did have the means to buy a new car, he wouldn’t be driving a taxi.
Specialists of the League of Protection of Drivers (LPD) also claim that the new licensing procedure is unacceptable and will be a blow against a large group of people who, sitting behind the wheel of a taxi, earn money and provide for their families.
“This is a ‘genocide’ against taxi drivers. Now, outside of the capital, drivers will have to pay 5 000 drams (USD 10) for a license, and in Yerevan they will have to pay 25 000 drams (USD 25). This is also not fair,” says the chairman of the LPD, Tigran Ohannesyan.
Yerevan’s mayor refused to speak with taxi drivers and listen to their complains, claiming that the question does not concern the mayor’s office, after which taxi drivers tried to make their way to the presidential residence. Agitated drivers were in such a hurry that they caused several accidents, and that was the end of the demonstration.