Romanian truck drivers and farmers protested across the country for the sixth time on Monday, as negotiations with the coalition government over lower taxes, higher subsidies and other demands failed to reach any agreements.
Long convoys of trucks and tractors have disrupted traffic on the outskirts of Bucharest and other cities throughout Romania as protests against the coalition government’s economic plans continue.
Farmers are demanding faster subsidy payments, aid for fuel costs, and compensation for losses caused by imports from neighbouring Ukraine, over what they say is unfair competition due to entry permits being scrapped by the EU in an effort to support the war-torn country.
Truck drivers are calling for lower tax and insurance rates and have complained about lengthy waiting times at the borders.
The demands from Romania are similar to those coming from another EU member state: in Poland, truckers and farmers have been protesting for months over the same complaints.
Meetings between the protesters and the agriculture and transport ministries were held over the weekend but no agreements were reached. The demonstrators on Saturday also caused brief blockades at the border with Ukraine in the northeast, Ukrainian border authorities said on Telegram.
On Monday, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu called for an “urgent drafting” of legislation to resolve the protesters’ complaints.
“We continue to negotiate in good faith with the protesters. We are fully open to dialogue,” Ciolacu said in a meeting with ministers involved in negotiating with the protesters, according to a statement.
The Alliance for Agriculture and Cooperation sent a document to the agricultural ministry on Monday listing 15 demands ahead of a planned meeting between the parties later in the day.
If the ministry fails to meet a series of deadlines, the alliance will “urgently initiate” steps to expand the protests, the document said.