EC Refuses to Intervene in Bulgaria-Turkey Traffic Permits Dispute
The European Commission has refused to interfere in the dispute with Turkey over transit traffic permit quotas, according to Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Daniela Bobeva.
Bobeva, as cited by dnevnik.bg, explained that the EC believed that the argument was a matter of bilateral relations.
Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister presented Wednesday the measures taken by the government to solve the truck deadlock at the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
In end-January, Turkey declared invalid the one-off transit traffic permits issued to Bulgarian carriers and Bulgaria responded with a reciprocal measure.
As a result of the step, TIR trucks of mainly small and medium-sized companies have been stuck at the Bulgarian-Turkish border for over ten days.
Bobeva reminded that Bulgaria had approached the EC back in May 2013, during the term in office of the caretaker government, when a similar dispute had flared up, adding that the reply had been received in November.
Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister informed that Turkey had not yet sent an official reply to Bulgaria's request to set an earlier date for the meeting of the transport ministers of the two countries scheduled for February 21 and to unblock transport through temporary measures.
She assured that intensive diplomatic efforts went into the attempts to resolve the crisis.
Bobeva underscored that Bulgaria wanted the problem solved once and for all so that the problems would not reemerge.
She pointed out that bilateral relations with Turkey in the sphere of road transport were governed by an agreement signed in 1977 which had grown outdated.
She explained that Bulgaria would seek a larger number of transit traffic permits, the abolition of the invoice as a transport document determining the type of shipment, and the liberalization of transport between the two countries.
Bulgaria's Deputy Minister expressed hopes that the associations of carriers of Bulgaria and Turkey, which were to meet on Thursday, would come up with a solution.
Meanwhile, a truck queue of over 10 kilometers is waiting at the Kapitan Andreevo border crossing. Producers have warned that their businesses are at risk and they could have to cut staff if the deadlock persists.
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