A bill mulled in the Republic aimed at restricting Turkish Cypriot taxi drivers from working in the south has sparked a wave of reactions, including calls to take up the matter with the EU.

According to Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog, taxi drivers have reportedly said if the bills is voted into law, this will effectively mark the end of their work. At the same time, they pointed out Greek Cypriot taxi drivers can pass to the north with their vehicles without any issues.

Statements by the paper carried by CNA, said drivers described the bill as paradoxical if one hand there’s discussions for confidence building measures, but then attempts to undermine them.

Taxi drivers in the north have since called on ‘officials’ to take up the matter with the EU.

“I hope this issue will be easily resolved because this is our livelihood. I can understand the reasons why the Greek Cypriot taxi drivers took this decision. Fuel is expensive for them and cheap for us, we transport customers at more affordable prices and we become their competition,” one taxi driver was quoted as saying.

Another said this was an attempt to “frighten” Turkish Cypriot taxi drivers, calling it an unfair move.

Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades told the Cyprus Mail the bill is set to reduce the burden of proof on the state to convict those illegally offering taxi services, which includes taxi drivers registered in the north who currently offer their services in the Republic.