WARSAW, June 14 Poland may impose more
regulations on ride-hailing giant Uber while softening
the rules for granting taxi licences in an attempt to find a
compromise after protests by taxi drivers, Deputy Prime Minister
Mateusz Morawiecki said.
Last week, thousands of cabs blocked streets of Poland's
biggest cities demanding that the government react to "illegal
activity" by some drivers, widely seen as a protest against
Uber. Some Uber drivers have been targeted by vandals who poured
excrement or acid on their cars.
"We want a compromise between the taxi industry and the
sharing industry," Morawiecki told a news conference.
"We need some requirements ... but on the other hand is it
necessary to know every single street's location since everyone
has GPS in his smartphone?" he said, referring to the exams
would-be taxi drivers must pass to obtain a licence.
Uber, which grew to a valuation of $68 billion in seven
years, has changed the tightly regulated taxi industry in many
countries, but has run into legal trouble with the way it
handles employees and drivers.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told employees on Tuesday he will
take time away from the company he helped to found, one of a
series of measures the company is taking to claw its way out
from under a mountain of controversies.
Without naming Uber specifically, Morawiecki said he wanted
international corporations operating in Poland to pay taxes in
"I would like international business models to be set in a
way that would allow (us) to finance Polish hospitals, Polish
pre-schools and Polish roads," he said.
The public relations firm representing Uber in Poland could
not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Adrian Croft)