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Hauliers set fire to truck to protest against Macron Package

Hauliers set fire to truck to protest against Macron Package

4 April 2019 | 14:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Plovdiv. Plovdiv hauliers have set fire to a heavy truck to protest against the adoption of the Mobility Package (dubbed Macron Package) at the European Parliament, Focus Radio reported. The truck was doused with gasoline and then set on fire. More than 200 employees of private transport companies from Plovdiv had gathered in protest. Angel Trakov, Chairman of the Board of the Union of International Hauliers, said the proposed provisions were highly restrictive to the periphery of the European Union (EU), the Bulgarian hauliers would do whatever it takes and would be looking for other forms of protest.
The burned truck had already been set for scrap, but the price of a new vehicle of this model is EUR 100,000. The Macron Package is opposed by large and small Bulgarian companies – with 2 or 100 trucks, most of them being in the business for about 10 years. According to most hauliers, with these measures the EU is trying to colonise the peripheral European countries, and these measures indirectly affect many other areas of economy.



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Hundreds of hauliers protest in Strasbourg against Mobility package

Hundreds of hauliers protest in Strasbourg against Mobility package

27 March 2019 | 13:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Strasbourg, Sofia. Hundreds of hauliers are protesting in Strasbourg against the Mobility Package, Focus’ correspondent has reported. The protest is taking place despite European Parliament President Antonio Tajani’s decision to pull the vote on the Mobility Package from the agenda. This is the second protest by Bulgarian hauliers against the proposed adverse regulatory changes. According to their figures, there are about 17,000 road haulier companies in Bulgaria with 66,000 trucks and 120,000 directly employed people.
The most numerous protesters in front of the EP are the hauliers from Bulgaria and Romania, supported by their colleagues from Lithuania and Slovenia. The protesters wear yellow vests and wave their national flags. Bulgarian MEPs attend the protest in a show of support.
In Sofia, the protesters against Mobility Package 1 gathered in front of the St. Alexander Nevski cathedral and marched to the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria. Taxi drivers and lorry importers joined the local protest of hauliers, who reject the requirement to return to the country every 4 weeks and the prohibition of sleeping in truck cabins. They want an exemption from the general rules for posted workers, saying that their work is different from the rest. They say the measures mostly affect the EU’s periphery and especially Bulgaria because of its geographic location.
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Mobility package sent to EP transport committee

Mobility package sent to EP transport committee

27 March 2019 | 08:50 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has sent the Mobility Package to the Committee on Transport after a request from MEPs, Focus News Agency reports. Thus, the package will not be voted on today. Nevertheless, Bulgarian hauliers will go to Strasbourg as planned, Union of International Hauliers Director Yordan Arabadzhiev said. He could not confirm if the planned protest in Sofia would still take place in the present situation. MEP Peter Kouroumbashev said there were three remaining weeks and Bulgarian hauliers should express their opinion in Strasbourg although the package had been withdrawn from the plenary hall.
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Road hauliers: At least 1,000 will protest in Strasbourg tomorrow with support from Romania, Poland and Lithuania

Road hauliers: At least 1,000 will protest in Strasbourg tomorrow with support from Romania, Poland and Lithuania

26 March 2019 | 12:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. At least 1,000 protesters will gather in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, trucks will not be allowed, the deputy chairman of the National Association of Bulgarian Hauliers, Krasimir Lalov, said in an interview with Focus News Agency about tomorrow’s protests in Sofia and Strasbourg against the Mobility package. Their representatives will arrive in Strasbourg at 9 am local time with a flight from Bulgaria. Two charter flights are expected from Romania as well, Lalov said, adding that colleagues from Poland and Lithuania are also expected to protest. Asked about discussed scenarios, he said their purpose was to convince the others that they were right, which could not happen through riotous acts.
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Bulgarian hauliers planning protests against Mobility Package in Strasbourg and Sofia on March 27

Bulgarian hauliers planning protests against Mobility Package in Strasbourg and Sofia on March 27

22 March 2019 | 15:38 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Chamber of the Bulgarian Road Hauliers is planning protests in Strasbourg and Sofia on March 27 if in the coming days the Mobility Package is scheduled for the European Parliament’s session that day, the chamber’s CEO, Dimitar Dimitrov, told Focus Radio. A charter flight has been organised for 105 people for the planned protest in Strasbourg. In Sofia, representatives of 12,000 Bulgarian transport companies are expected to protest in front of the European Commission Representation.
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MEP Peter Kouroumbashev: We need a coalition against the Macron plan, on Thursday it will be decided if the topic will be discussed in plenary

MEP Peter Kouroumbashev: We need a coalition against the Macron plan, on Thursday it will be decided if the topic will be discussed in plenary

14 January 2019 | 09:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. We need to form a coalition of countries united against the Macron plan and the Road Alliance that includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, PES/BSP MEP Peter Kouroumbashev told BTV this morning. “We have won a small interim battle,” he said. “From now on, we should not only watch what the so-called Road Alliance is doing but unite with the countries that disagree with the proposed changes in the Mobility project, such as Poland, Romania and others,” the MEP noted. On Thursday it will be decided if the topic will be discussed in plenary. According to Kouroumbashev, the president and the prime minister sent timely letters to Antonio Tajani to postpone the voting to the next European Parliament.
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PM Borissov sends transport minister to Brussels to express reservations over the rejected reports on the Mobility Package

PM Borissov sends transport minister to Brussels to express reservations over the rejected reports on the Mobility Package

11 January 2019 | 15:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has discussed the situation regarding the Mobility Package 1 with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the government press office said. The two of them had a telephone conversation today. In view of the latest vote on the package in the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism, where two of the three reports from the package were rejected, the Bulgarian prime minister urged President Tajani to consider the possibility that the issue be left to the next European parliament. Borissov said there was a political agreement between the parliamentary groups in the transport committee that the three reports from the Mobility Package were inseparable, it would make no sense to put the rejected reports to the vote in plenary. "Twice the transport committee and once in plenary, the MEPs have rejected the controversial reports on the Mobility Package 1, showing that its provisions are unbalanced and stir up discontent both among them and in a number of EU member states,” Borisov stressed.
Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rosen Zhelyazkov will travel to Brussels to present Bulgaria’s arguments concerning the rejected reports and their voting procedures at a meeting with President Tajani.
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Ombudsman asks European ombudsman to defend Bulgarian hauliers

Ombudsman asks European ombudsman to defend Bulgarian hauliers

11 January 2019 | 12:59 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Ombudsman Maya Manolova has sent a letter to European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, asking for assistance on the controversial legislative amendments in the Mobility 1 package, which are clearly to the detriment of Bulgarian road hauliers, Manolova’s press office said. She has also sent letters to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, asking for the amendments not to be voted on by the current European Parliament, given its expiring mandate. In the letters, the ombudsman says that the adoption of the amendments will seriously affect fundamental rights of hauliers from East European countries and will damage the functioning of the common market, competitiveness, the right of access and the free movement of people. She points out the potential negative consequences for over 150,000 truckers and their families.
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Transport minister: Even if trucks return is adopted in EP, EC will not support it in trialogues, it will be dropped

Transport minister: Even if trucks return is adopted in EP, EC will not support it in trialogues, it will be dropped

10 January 2019 | 14:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. Even if the European Parliament adopts the return of trucks, the European Commission will not support it in the trialogues, which means that this measure will be dropped, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rosen Zhelyazkov said at the protest of Bulgarian hauliers in Brussels, Focus News Agency’s correspondent reported. The minister noted that only some of the proposals within the package, those about the return of trucks to the country of registration and cabotage, were approved by the transport committee today, while the rest were rejected. He said Bulgaria’s position would be against the consideration of the package by the European Parliament.
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Angel Trakov, haulier association: We are witnessing an attempt to impose political decision that will solve the problems of some countries at the expense of others

Angel Trakov, haulier association: We are witnessing an attempt to impose political decision that will solve the problems of some countries at the expense of others

10 January 2019 | 13:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. We are here to defend a national and European cause, to state openly and categorically our protest against the double standards that will hit not only us as hauliers, not only our truckers but also the economy of the countries on the periphery, said Angel Trakov, Chairman of the Union of International Hauliers, at the protest of Bulgarian hauliers in Brussels, Focus News Agency’s correspondent reported. “We are witnessing an attempt to impose political decisions without legal justification and economic logic, which will solve domestic problems for some countries, but at the expense of the economy of others,” he said. He called the proposed regulations discrimination against Bulgaria and Bulgarian hauliers. “Bulgarian transport workers have gone through all difficult years of changing political regimes, spheres of influence, rules,” Trakov said, adding that the Bulgarian transport business was sustainably developing and competitive with strong European countries.
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EP’s transport committee rejects compromise requested by Bulgaria on Mobility package

EP’s transport committee rejects compromise requested by Bulgaria on Mobility package

10 January 2019 | 12:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. The European Parliament’s transport committee rejected the compromise requested by Bulgaria regarding the Mobility package, BNR has reported. The MEPs adopted provisions that lorries must return to the starting point every four weeks and that truckers could not sleep in the cabins but will have to stay in hotels.
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MEP Peter Kouroumbashev: Expectations before transport committee voting are not optimistic

MEP Peter Kouroumbashev: Expectations before transport committee voting are not optimistic

10 January 2019 | 10:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The expectations before today’s voting in the transport committee are not optimistic, MEP Peter Kouroumbashev, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, told the Bulgarian National Television. “In case those regulations are not adopted, many countries have begun to adopt their own rules at national level. An approach like this is the beginning of the end of the EU,” said Kouroumbashev.
Ilhan Kucuk, Deputy Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, called for a sober approach to assess the pros and cons and draw up a long-term strategy for the upcoming interinstitutional talks.
MEP Andrey Novakov, GERB/EPP, said it was still unclear whether the present Parliament would have the last word.
MEP Angel Dzhambazki, European Conservatives and Reformists/VMRO, said there was no point-scoring between Bulgarian MEPs on that subject. “We are having a real fight in the European Union for the livelihood of 150,000 Bulgarian families,” he said.
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Hauliers from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia make joint declaration against Mobility package

Hauliers from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia make joint declaration against Mobility package

10 January 2019 | 09:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. International road hauliers from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia have united in a declaration against the Mobility package, the Association of Bulgarian Enterprises for International Road Transport and Roads (AEBTRI) said. They say the Macron package has no impact assessment, the proposals are discriminatory and burdensome and the debates are politicised, populist and even radical in the pre-election context. The hauliers insist that the rules on posted workers do not apply to them, otherwise costs will soar and there will be a risk of bankruptcies and rising transport and commodity prices. They reject the proposal for the trucks to return to the country of registration and say truckers should be able to choose where to spend their breaks. According to their statement, the ban on weekly cabin breaks will result in additional, unnecessary costs and will affect transport efficiency and security.
Bulgarian hauliers will protest against the package in Brussels today. About 360 are the hauliers travelling from Bulgaria, and over 100 living near the Belgian capital or travelling individually are expected to join them. Nearly 260 Romanian colleagues will protest together with the Bulgarian hauliers.
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Andrey Novakov, MEP: Division in EP over Mobility package remains, alternative texts proposed

Andrey Novakov, MEP: Division in EP over Mobility package remains, alternative texts proposed

9 January 2019 | 11:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The division in the European Parliament over the Mobility package remains, said MEP Andrey Novakov in Focus Radio’s morning broadcast regarding the controversial so-called Macron plan to be voted in the EP’s Transport Committee tomorrow, January 10. Novakov said that Germany, Austria, France and Italy were the firmest advocates of the clauses discriminating against Bulgarian hauliers. The majorities for and against the package are very dynamic, difficult to predict, the MEP said. “This is the third attempt at adoption of the texts in the EP following two rejections. The reason for us to again deal with the Macron package is the decision taken by the EU transport ministers. I hope we will again succeed, together, in blocking its adoption, or at least in adopting alternative texts, prepared and submitted by Bulgarian MEPs. In this way we aim to at least mitigate the blow to Bulgarian hauliers,” Novakov said. He added that MEPs’ opposition to the plan for 2 years now and tomorrow’s protest by hauliers in Brussels should be a clear sign that the proposed measures were unacceptable. Tomorrow’s voting in the Transport Committee is not final, there will be new negotiations, the MEP said.
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Petko Angelov, haulier: A postponement of Mobility package would be good news, but it would be better to have dialogue with those lobbying against the Bulgarian companies

Petko Angelov, haulier: A postponement of Mobility package would be good news, but it would be better to have dialogue with those lobbying against the Bulgarian companies

9 January 2019 | 10:44 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. A postponement of the Mobility package adoption would be good news, but it would be better to have dialogue with the lobbyists that seek the bankruptcy of the Bulgarian companies, said Petko Angelov, Chair of Chamber of Bulgarian Road Hauliers. Speaking to Focus Radio, he said that for the first time all Bulgarian institutions showed such understanding, but that Prime Minister Boyko Borissov must defend the hauliers’ interests as he had done it before. Transport activity provides over BGN 1 billion to the national budget. A bankruptcy will benefit leading European economies, he said. “The leading economies in Europe such as France and Germany, there is currently a shortage of 50,000 drivers in each country. This means that they want to take our drivers under the same conditions we currently offer, not to pay more, because drivers are free, they can always go to a French or German company if they wish and leave Bulgaria. The bad thing is that with this so-called Macron plan they put forward the arguments about social policy, claiming that the French and German MEPs think about the drivers. They put forward the argument that Bulgarian truckers are nomads travelling across Europe for months and years, which is not true. Every driver can come back home whenever he wants,” Petko Angelov said. Bulgarian hauliers hope that if the Mobility package overcomes the first stage, then it will be stopped at second instance.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
In memoriam: Krasimir Uzunov
In memoriam: Krasimir Uzunov

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Unexpected vacation;
Unexpected vacation;
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