Illegal cabs still taint Hungary's image

The Hungarian Association of Taxi Drivers is demanding steps to curb the still high ratio of illegal cabs that taint the country's image and is also a hotbed of criminal gangs, business news portal reports.

According to information obtained by business portal Mfor, the Hungarian Association of Taxi Drivers - also supported by the Budapest Chamber of Commerce - sent a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán asking for stricter controls of illegal taxis.

Zoltán Metál, head of the association told Mfor that an estimated 10 to 15 percent of Budapest cabs operate illegally and they have proposed a series of measures to remedy the situation - such as dedicated drivers' licenses for cab drivers and moral certificates for all employees of cab companies.

He also said that some very lucrative taxi stands in downtown Budapest are controlled by organized crime groups and that there are still too many cars operating as taxis despite having their special yellow license plates revoked.

Metál said this has an impact on tourism as for some visitors the "service" provided by these individuals and groups remains a lasting impression. Mfor has learned that the government has assured taxi drivers of its support and promised increased controls before the start of the tourist season.

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