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Hungary Does U-Turn, Says not Seeking to Drive Out Uber App

By on May 31, 2016

BUDAPEST, Hungary – In an apparent policy U-turn, Hungary says it’s not aiming to drive Uber from the country. Instead, the government wants to ensure that the ride-sharing app sticks to rules ensuring fair competition for all taxi companies.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20:  An Uber vehicle is viewed in Manhattan on July 20, 2015 in New York City. New York's City Council has proposed two bills last month to limit the number of new for-hire vehicles, as well as to study the rapidly rising industry's impact on traffic. Uber has responded in an open letter arguing that its 6,000 Uber cars out during an average hour are a small part of the city's overall traffic. In cities across the globe Uber has upended the traditional taxi concept with many drivers and governments taking action against the California based company.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

An Uber vehicle (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Ministry of National Development state secretary Janos Fonagy and other officials met Tuesday with representatives from Uber for the first time in months.

Fonagy praised the company’s “exceptionally modern” innovations, which he said have been mostly adopted by other taxi firms but said all companies had to obey the rules.

Hungary’s parliament is debating legislation increasing penalties for unlicensed drivers and banning apps like Uber.

Uber said it hopes Hungary will wait for upcoming guidelines from the European Union on “collaborative economy platforms” like Uber and Airbnb, which facilitates short-term rentals, before deciding.

The Associated Press

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