ZAGREB, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The High Misdemeanor Court of Croatia has ruled that Uber is operating illegally in the country, daily newspaper Vecernji list reported on Monday.
According to Vecernji list, the court rejected Uber's appeal against the first-instance verdicts by the Split County Court which accused the company of illegally providing taxi services to the public.
In one case, the company was fined 10,000 Croatian kuna (around 1,655 U.S. dollars) and the driver 1,30 kuna, while in another case the company was fined 25,000 kuna, while the driver was hit with a 20,000 kuna fine.
According to the court, Uber was providing a taxi service without a necessary taxi license. However, Uber insisted it didn't offer public transportation because their service was not available to all people under the same conditions, but only those who use the Uber application.
The court rejected such claims, arguing that as anyone could download Uber's application, this therefore constitutes public transport.
Uber has been operating in the southeastern European country since 2015. According to the latest survey in Nov. 2017, 86 percent of Croatian citizens support Uber, while taxi drivers have been protesting Uber by blocking traffic near airports during tourist season or rallying in front of the parliament buildings.
The Croatian government is still working on the new Road Traffic Act which should liberalize the taxi market in Croatia and regulate the work of Uber.