The Slovenia Times

Truckers Gearing Up for Protest in Ljubljana


The date has not been disclosed as they hope to strike a deal with the government before. The association's secretary Bojan Pečnik pointed out that other haulier associations have also been invited to join it the protest, which he said would come shortly.

He explained that intensive talks with authorities have yielded only few signed deals, while he said the association had experience with promises not being kept.

Among the most pressing open issues, association head Andrej Klobasa underlined the strong increase in road tolls, which was not negotiated, and the use of funds collected through emission coupons for other purposes not for subsidies for environment-friendlier vehicles.

According to Klobasa, the attitude of the state may put hauliers out of business, which means they will be a burden for the state in about a year.

Klobasa and Pečnik said hauliers paid some EUR 60m for emission coupons annually, but only a small share of this returns in form of encouragement for buying ecologically more suitable vehicles, which makes Slovenian hauliers less competitive than foreign ones.

In November, EUR 4m was offered as subsidies, but this was much less than requested by applicants.

Moreover, Klobasa noted that weight limitations are to be introduced on 15 road sections in Slovenia at the end of January, which is to cause hauliers major costs, as they will need to transport the cargo with more vehicles.

Hauliers also have trouble employing drivers due to complicated red tape, added Pečnik, noting that promises have been made regarding the issue but little has been done.

Klobasa said he expected Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek would do everything she could to reach an agreement and avoid complications that could arise from the announced protest.

Minister Omerzel told TV Slovenia in response that he was surprised by the accusations and said that he would not cave in to extortion.

He said it was already hard to secure EUR 4m in subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly vehicles. "Demands for additional money seem like a step too far to me," Omerzel said.


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