Bulgaria’s Transport Minister Danail Papazov has given reassurances to Bulgaria’s road freight companies that the new transit fees set to go into force in Turkey on September 1 would not affect Bulgarian lorries.
Tension at the Bulgarian-Turkish border has been simmering for months, ever since Bulgaria’s hauling industry claimed in spring that Bulgarian lorries were being targeted by discriminatory policies implemented by Turkish authorities. On May 9, hundreds of Bulgarian lorry drivers went as far as to block the two main checkpoints on the border with Turkey in protest.
Spirits appeared to calm down until last week, when Bulgarian hauling industry groups said that the higher transit fees, which will go into effect in Turkey on September 1, would de facto close the Turkish market to foreign freight firms.
Bulgaria’s official answer was to seek clarification from Turkish authorities. The answer, Papazov said on August 22, was that the transit fee for Bulgarian lorries will remain unchanged – 43 euro.
Papazov said that the new fees did not apply for lorries from countries with which Turkey has standing bilateral agreements on freight and passenger traffic. Bulgaria signed such an agreement with Turkey in 1977, he said.
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