While Romanian politicians are promising in Brussels measures in support of road carriers, in Bucharest, they only attracted their criticism and generate protests.
A vital area in a globalised economy, road freight
transport employs many Romanians. According to statistics presented by the
authorities in Bucharest, some 150,000 Romanians are employed as drivers,
travelling all over Europe. Their work is not only not easy, but also full of
risks. Last month, a Romanian lorry driver was killed in a parking lot in France
by thieves he interrupted while they were trying to steal goods from his vehicle.
On 6th June, another Romanian driver was the victim of a knife attack,
also in a parking lot, but managed to escape and also rescue a colleague who
was driving a lorry registered in Belarus.
The rights of the Romanians working in this profession
must be respected in keeping with national law, labour minister Raluca Turcan
posted on Facebook after talks in Brussels with the European commissioner for
transport Adina Vălean. Haulage companies, the minister
says, must ensure transparent and fair payment conditions and up to the levels on
the European market, as it's a well-known fact that there are often differences
in terms of working conditions and salaries for eastern European workers. "There
is no tolerance for illegal employment and discrimination", she added.
Commissioner Vălean said the European authorities are making efforts to develop
safe parking space for lorry drivers as soon as possible, with the community bloc
currently having a shortage of some 100,000 parking spaces.
While Romanian politicians are promising in Brussels
measures in support of road carriers, in Bucharest, they only managed to attract
their criticism and generate protests. This comes after the tax authorities said
the daily allowance of lorry drivers working for Romanian companies abroad should
be considered salary income and must be taxed.
Haulage companies are also discontent with the
intention of the transport ministry to change the way in which the road tax is
calculated, per kilometre and pollution instead of period as is the case now. This
change is laid down in the recovery and resilience plan which politicians are negotiating
with the European Commission in order to be able to access the almost 30
billion euros earmarked for Romania. The president of the federation of
Romanian transport companies Augustin Hagiu said the
move would see taxes rise ten times and criticised the state of Romanian roads. (CM)