Bulgarian truck drivers end blockade of traffic to Turkey

The disgruntled drivers had blocked traffic for two days, causing a 12 km (7-mile) queue at the Kapitan Andreevo crossing and a 5.5 km tailback at the Lesovo checkpoint.

Bulgarian truck drivers end blockade of traffic to Turkey

World Bulletin/News Desk

Bulgarian truck drivers lifted their traffic blockades at two major border checkpoints with Turkey late on Friday, saying a deal had been struck to end Turkish restrictions on their operations.

The disgruntled drivers had blocked traffic for two days, causing a 12 km (7-mile) queue at the Kapitan Andreevo crossing and a 5.5 km tailback at the Lesovo checkpoint.

They accused Turkish officials of trying to push them out of the Turkish and Arab transport markets by subjecting them to lengthy customs checks which could last hours and even days.

They also called for the removal or easing of the limit on the amount of fuel trucks can carry into Turkey, set at 560 litres. Petrol costs more in Turkey than in Bulgaria.

The chairman of the Bulgarian association of road transport unions, Mirolyub Stolarski, said it had struck a deal with Turkish officials to have the customs and fuel restrictions suspended until the end of the month.

He said the two countries' transport ministers would meet in Germany on May 22 to negotiate a permanent agreement.

Bulgarian and Turkish officials were not immediately available to comment.

Among those caught up in the blockade was British band Depeche Mode, which was forced to cancel its concert in Istanbul on Friday because trucks carrying equipment from Bulgaria could not get through.

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2013, 10:44
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