Bulgarian Business Leader Urges Stringent Checks on Austrian Drivers


In spite of Bulgariaโ€™s accession to the EUโ€™s Schengen Zone by air and sea from March of this year, businesses in Bulgaria suffer at least โ‚ฌ1 billion in losses due to stoppages at land borders.

To reciprocate the damage on Austria, which is the main hurdle for the full accession of Bulgaria in Schengen, the head of one of the largest employersโ€™ organisations in Bulgaria, Wasil Walev, called for a boycott of Austrian goods in Bulgaria, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Besides, he said that Bulgaria should boycott the Billa chain of stores and OMV gas stations, while a total boycott should also cover Austrian winter resorts.

Business will support the government if it decides to take tougher steps towards Austria.

Wasil Walev

Furthermore, Walev said that authorities in Bulgaria should create obstacles for Austrian drivers passing through Bulgaria. According to him, Austrian drivers and their vehicles should undergo thorough and extended controls, mirroring the measures imposed on Bulgarian drivers and vehicles.

However, some local media reports note that such measures are already being applied at border crossings after Austrian passenger cars and trucks with goods transported to Austria are being carefully checked, meaning that they have to wait for hours at the border.

In addition, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce indicates that Vienna is suffering significant losses as a result of such actions.

Romania and Bulgaria will join the Schengen Zone by air and sea from March 2024, following the agreement reached between Bucharest, Sofia and Austria on the latterโ€™s โ€œAir Schengenโ€ proposal. As for land border accession, discussions are set to continue this year.

However, authorities in Romania also urged for a clear date for the accession of land borders as well.

While welcoming the partial accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Area, the National Union for Road Hauliers from Romania (UNTRR) called on the Romanian and European authorities to establish a clear date for the accession of land borders.

A previous report of UNTRR revealed that remaining outside the Schengen Zone cost the road freight industry โ‚ฌ2.41 billion in losses, with UNTRR Secretary-General Radu Dinescu considering the accession of Romania through land an emergency for road freight carriers.

We request the urgent setting of a definite date for Romaniaโ€™s Schengen entry with land borders, too, and if there are certain special requirements, they should be clearly mentioned in order to have a precise reference regarding the accession calendar and the goals to be achieved.

UNTRR Secretary-General Radu Dinescu

In addition, he stressed that the criteria other members of the EU states want Romania and Bulgaria to fulfill must not surpass the general framework as well as technical requirements for admission.


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