Turkey to Restore Restrictions for Bulgarian Trucks June 1Business | May 28, 2013, Tuesday // 12:16| views
In mid-May, Bulgarian freight road carriers blocked the Kapitan Andreevo-Kapakule and the Lessovo border crossing points between Bulgaria and Turkey in protest against restrictions on the other side of the border. Photo by BGNES
The restrictive measures against Bulgarian freight road carriers will not only be restored effective June 1, but even upped, as this is the position of the Turkish haulers association UND.
The Bulgarian Focus news agency cites Tuesday Koycho Rusev, member of the Managing Board of the Association of Bulgarian Enterprises for International Road Transport and Roads, AEBTRI, in saying the decision has been made after 8 hours of negotiations.
AEBTRI and the Bulgarian Association of Automobile Transport Unions, BASAT, represented the Bulgarian side in the negotiations while UND have represented the Turkish side.
"We prepared a document and wanted to find some solutions and draw our positions closer, but they are adamant that beginning June 1, they will restore the restrictive measures and they even plan new ones. It emerged the proposal was entirely authored by them. The Transport Ministry has made a suggestion to the Customs and the latter have delivered the order to the border checkpoints with the goal to crush the competitiveness of Bulgarian haulers," Rusev said.
According to him, despite Bulgaria's arguments, Turkey does not want to solve the problems and to give up the illegal actions against Bulgarian haulers.
He says that the only way to deal with the issue now, is to impose the same restrictions for Turkish haulers entering Bulgaria.
On May 22, Bulgarian caretaker Transport Minister, Kristian Krastev, met with Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim, in Leipzig, Germany.
This was the first meeting of the two countries' transport ministers since January 2012.
Krastev and Yildirim, who held several phone calls prior to the talks, were expected to seek a permanent solution of the problem with Bulgarian tractor trailers in Turkey and negotiate an agreement on freight shipments.
The meeting came on the heels of protests of Bulgarian drivers and freight road carriers, who blocked the Kapitan Andreevo-Kapakule and the Lessovo border crossing points between Bulgaria and Turkey in mid-May.
Bulgarian drivers and truck owners are outraged by the hurdles for their business on the other side of the border and by unfair competition. They complained from unfounded restrictions such as not allowing into Turkish territory trucks carrying over 500 liters of fuel or making drivers wait at the Turkish border for days.
The blockade was eventually lifted when it was reported that all demands have been met after negotiations between Krastev, the Deputy Regional Governor of Edirne and the Customs Chief of Kapakule.
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