Croatian court rejects ministry request to ban Uber



The Zagreb Misdemeanor Court has rejected a motion by the Traffic Inspectorate of the Ministry of Transport to ban the cab booking Uber application, Croatian news agency HINA reported on Wednesday.

The ruling means Uber can still operate in the southeastern European country in spite of taxi driver protests in the last few months.

After one such protest on July 21, the Traffic Inspectorate filed an indictment against Uber Croatia and Uber International Holding with a request to ban the application in Croatia. The Ministry of Transport argued that Uber was operating illegally in Croatia because the company offers taxi services although their partner drivers don't have the necessary licenses and permits.

Uber expressed regret that the ministry's Traffic Inspectorate wanted its application banned in Croatia. The Ministry didn't comment the latest verdict, but the court spokesman told HINA that it might appeal.

Since the end of 2015, when Uber started operating in Croatia, the Traffic Inspectorate has seized dozens of Uber drivers' cars, but that didn't affect the company's business in the country.

There are more than 1,500 Uber drivers in Croatia who are competing with taxi drivers whose business is suffering. In June, taxi drivers protested by blocking the busiest streets in the center of the capital Zagreb. At the top of the tourist season, taxi drivers blocked a road to the airport in Dubrovnik.

The Croatian government is working on the new Road Traffic Act which will regulate Uber. A public debate about new regulation is expected soon.