Uber protest France
French taxi drivers demonstrate at Porte Maillot to block the traffic on the Paris ring road during a national protest against Uber Reuters

French President Francois Hollande has said that the violence at the demonstrations by angry taxi drivers against the online ride service UberPOP was "unacceptable."

He however expressed sympathy for the taxi drivers. "You can understand that there are demonstrations. You can understand that there's exasperation because it's already been going on for months and the court decisions are slow to come," he told reporters in Brussels early Friday (26 June).

The UberPOP app was ruled illegal by the French government last year but the US company has not exhausted all legal resource and has told its drivers to continue operating.

Hollande said that Uber "doesn't respect any laws," and should be dissolved.

CNN reported that taxi drivers, angry over Uber's move into their industry, have said they will continue their demonstrations on Friday. French taxi drivers claim that the US-based company is stealing their livelihoods.

Didier Hogrel, president of the National Federation of Taxis told CNN on Thursday that the taxi drivers were taking action at the Paris' airports, at the capital's Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon train stations and at the Porte Maillot in the Montparnasse area.

Key roads around Paris were blocked and tyres were burned during the day long strike.

Uber spokesman Thomas Meister told CNN: "There's 50,000 taxis in France, only roughly 1,000 are demonstrating today and the violence is just unacceptable. We're talking about a small minority, totally reluctant to (accept) any sort of change."