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Hungarian truckers end unsuccessful protest at Ukrainian border


Drivers angry at the entry of Ukrainian hauliers into the European market say both their government and their union have left them behind.


After ten days, the demonstration of Hungarian truck drivers on the Ukrainian border ended.

Organizers say they are suspending the protest for now not only because they have failed to achieve their goals, but also because they have received no support from either the union or the government.

“We heard the slogan of our government leaders that ‘they will not leave anyone by the side of the road,’” protester Károly Szamosfalvi said. “Now it appears this is turning out to be false.”

The protesters believe that their colleagues refused to join them because they have not yet realized that their jobs are endangered by the entry of Ukrainian truck drivers into the EU market.

Some of them who have already lost their jobs complain that truck drivers 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 last month and a half, Polish and Slovak hauliers have also been protesting against the revocation of community benefits for Ukrainians. After the Polish demonstration resumed on Wednesday, many trucks tried to reach Hungary.

Those who arrived a little earlier still managed to cross the border relatively quickly, within a day.

“A week ago we had to wait three days because the queue was 28 kilometers long,” said one driver. “Now it’s a little better, maybe 6 kilometers, we can cross it quickly, in 15, 17 hours. It’s not much. There’s so much happening at the different borders that here it’s the maximum.”

Organizers want to restart the protest next year, but with many more trucks and a tougher border blockade.

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