IN PICS: Riot police sent in to clear taxi strike in Madrid

Spanish riot police used cranes on Monday to clear a major thoroughfare in Madrid that was blocked by striking taxi drivers.

IN PICS: Riot police sent in to clear taxi strike in Madrid
Madrid's Castellana was blocked by the striking taxis. Photo: AFP

The drivers have been on strike since last week to demand tighter regulations for app-based ride-hailing services like Uber.   

Dozens of riot police wearing crash helmets and carrying shields descended on the central Paseo de la Castellana and with the aid of the cranes removed taxis which were blocking the key boulevard which runs north-south through the Spanish capital.

Despite the tension between the taxi drivers and police, there was no violence.

After the first vehicles were removed, drivers at the head of the column of taxis slowly started to drive away while honking their horns, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.


Like their counterparts in many other European countries, Spain's taxi drivers say that ride-hailing apps like Uber, or its main Spanish rival Cabify, have made it impossible to compete.

Madrid taxi drivers began an open-ended strike on January 21 and had threatened to block traffic in the Spanish capital on Monday with the help of others who have joined them from cities across Spain.

“The legitimate right to strike does not include the right to paralyse the city,” the central government's representative in the Madrid region, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, wrote on Twitter.

Barcelona taxi drivers called off a six-day strike on Thursday after the regional government of Catalonia unveiled new regulations which makes it possible for cities in the region to require customers of ride-hailing services to book a ride at least an hour in advance.

READ MORE: Taxi drivers call off strike in Barcelona


IN PICS: Ten photos that will make you excited about spring in Spain

It may only be mid-February but wherever you are in Spain, spring is most definitely in the air.

IN PICS: Ten photos that will make you excited about spring in Spain
Cherry trees seen from the window of a car in Aragon. Photo: Fiona Govan / The Local

Whether its almond or cherry blossom, the vibrant yellow bloom of mimosa or wild irises bursting through the wet earth, there are signs of spring wherever you turn your head. 

Take a stroll in the mountains, head to your nearest park or just look out of your window. Spring is here! 

In Madrid, this is the time of year when couples flock to the Quinta de los Molinos park (Near Suances Metro in the east of the city) to admire the groves of almond trees as they reach full bloom.

It's now warm enough to enjoy things like rowing on the lake in Madrid's Retiro park. The perfect way to enjoy the spring sunshine. 

Look out for mimosa trees which burst into bloom with their vibrant yellow fluffy blossom.






A post shared by Kate (@kate_flight) on Feb 19, 2019 at 6:08am PST


Even the ugliest tower block is transformed when spring is in the air. 

If you can catch almond blossom with a glimpse of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the background, like this shot captured in Granada province, then you are lucky indeed!


The terraces of inland Alicante provide stunning views…and more almond trees.

It's the perfect times to skip through an olive grove…





Ey, the spring is just around the corner!!! ???

A post shared by Podenquito Valentin & Inma (@podenco_valentin_bontempi) on Feb 19, 2019 at 5:50am PST



And it's not just about flowers. Right now, Calçots are also in season. There are a specialty in Catalonia but you can find them in Catalan restaurants across Spain duirng February and March.