Drivers angry at Ukrainian hauliers’ entry into EU market say both their government and their union have left them behind.
After ten days, the demonstration of Hungarian hauliers at the Ukrainian border has ended.
The organisers say they are suspending their protest for the time being not just because they failed to achieve their aims, but also because they received no support from either their union or the government.
“We have heard the slogan from our government leaders that they ‘will leave no one on the side of the road’,” said protester Károly Szamosfalvi. “Now that seems to be proving to be untrue.”
The demonstrators believe that their coworkers refused to join them because they haven’t yet realised that their jobs are endangered by the entrance of Ukrainian truckers into the EU market.
Some of them who have already lost their jobs complain that truckers from third countries can enter the European market with a significant price advantage, a situation that makes it impossible for them to compete.
Over the past month and a half, Polish and Slovak hauliers have also been protesting for the withdrawal of EU benefits for Ukrainians. After the Polish demonstration was restarted on Wednesday, many of the trucks tried to make their way to Hungary.
Those who came a little earlier were still able to cross the border relatively quickly, within a day.
“A week ago we had to wait three days because the queue was 28 kilometres long,” said one driver. “Now it’s a little better, maybe 6 kilometres, we can get across quickly, in 15, 17 hours. That’s not much. There are so many things happening at the different borders that here is the best.”
The organisers want to start the protest again next year, but with many more trucks and a tighter border blockade.