For the second day now, the Union of Truck Carriers of Slovakia is blocking the Vyšné Nemecké-Užhorod border crossing. They took the side of the Polish truck drivers, who have been protesting for several weeks.
After the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Eurocommission opened up the entry for Ukrainian carriers, which causes problems for local companies.
Slovak carriers claim that Ukrainian truck drivers are forcing them out of work because they drive without permits. They have lower prices than Slovak or even Polish trucks. It is currently valid that until June 30 of next year, Ukrainian truck drivers do not have to have permits to enter the European Union.
The situation on our eastern border was mapped by editor Lucia Benetinová:
“We would like the permits back for the Ukrainian side, so that’s the problem. They come here to work illegally and take our work and do cabotage here. We have to protect our market,” says Stanislav Skala, chairman of the Union of Car Transporters of Slovakia.
The blockade was preceded by talks with the Minister of Transport Jozef Ráž. The Ministry of Transport said on its social network that it respects their right to strike.
“The topic of permits will be discussed by the Council of Ministers of Transport on Monday (December 4) in Brussels. Of course, we perceive the situation that this agreement causes between carriers. We have agreed with the truck transport union that they should strike so as not to disrupt the lives of the residents of eastern Slovakia too much,” said Petra Poláčiková, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transport.
Ukrainian truck drivers have been standing in the east of Slovakia in columns for several days. The convoys already start on the D1 highway in Bidovce, where more than 300 trucks are parked. Another 100 trucks are in front of Michalovci. The longest column of parked vehicles goes from the village of Gajdoš to the border crossing, where there are almost 500 trucks. They don’t understand blockades.
According to the chairman of the Union of Truck Carriers, carriers will block the border crossing at least until Monday. If Brussels does not meet their demands, then indefinitely.