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Sat, Apr 21, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Diplomats want traffic law exemption

CNA , TAIPEI

Ambassadors and representatives of six Central American countries to Taiwan paid a call on Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday to complain about difficulties in finding parking spaces for their cars in the city.

They also urged the city to cease the practice of towing illegally parked cars bearing diplomatic plates.

Ma expressed regret for cases in which diplomats have had their cars towed and, unable to understand the chalk scrawls left by the tow truck companies advising owners as to where they can retrieve their vehicles, have had to suffer much inconvenience and spend time getting back their cars.

He said the city government will "try its best" to solve the problem by taking into consideration international custom, diplomatic reciprocity and the cordial relations between Taiwan and the countries in question.

The ambassadors who attended the meeting were Francisco Ricardo Santana Berrios from El Salvador, Oscar Alvarez from Costa Rica, Julio Roberto Palomo-Silva from Guatemala and Luis Wong from Nicaragua. Two representatives -- Lucia Mejia of Honduras and William Quinto of Belize -- also attended the meeting.

Ma said he is aware that the city suffers from a lack of parking spaces and disclosed that over the past two years and four months, even he has had to pay 11 fines for parking violations.

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