Uber, the mobile internet-based ride-sharing service that has taken the world by storm, will be suspending its service in Hungary as of noon on July 24th.
The Hungarian government and parliament effectively declared war on Uber at the behest of Hungary’s taxi companies more than one year ago. Most recently, the parliament enacted legislation authored by the Ministry of National Development paving the way for the government to restrict access to the ride-sharing service.
According to Hungarian news site 444.hu, Uber drivers received an email Wednesday morning informing them that Uber will be closing its Budapest office at the end of the month.
Zoltán Fekete, Uber’s executive in Hungary, held a press conference Wednesday morning in which he said the government was simply unwilling to work with the company to find a proper solution to keep the service on the Hungarian market.
The government laid down hurdle after hurdle to complicate Uber’s presence in the country, including requiring Uber drivers to obtain extra licenses and insurance. Despite meeting all these demands, Uber has decided to throw in the towel, leaving some one thousand drivers without a job and thousands of passengers to the tender mercies of Budapest’s overpriced and unreliable taxi services.
Shortly after Uber’s announcement was made this morning, former prime minister and Democratic Coalition chairman Ferenc Gyurcsány posted the following on his Facebook page:
“You can ban Uber. And everything else. Ban Facebook too! And Instagram! Let’s go backwards! I declare that we will beat Fidesz. And we will once again have Uber.”