Pressure is increasing on the Romanian government to (re)prioritise the trans-Carpathian motorway. An Olympic snapshot of Slovenian snow clearing. A driver lands a whacking tax bill after personally exporting cheap Luxembourg fuel, the New Europe Bridge over the Danube defies expectations, the IRU makes a film about its TIR dispute with Russia, and the Autoworld Museum in Brussels is apparently well worth a visit.
10,000 DACIA WORKERS RALLY OVER TRANS-CARPATHIAN HIGHWAY
New road worth €30 per car says Dacia.
ROMANIA: More than 11,000 workers at the Dacia factory downed tools for an hour yesterday to rally in favour of a new trans-Carpathian motorway.
As well as ‘Build the highway from Sibiu to Pitesti’, the protestors reportedly shouted slogans including ‘Irresponsible political class’ and ‘Down with Basescu’, despite President Basescu last month making a public call for the motorway to be built.
With work on the A1 in the west of Romania on-going, the only missing section of motorway between western Europe and the Black Sea is across the Carpathian mountains. The Dacia factory at Mioveni, six miles outside Pitesti, is to the south of the mountain range.
This Sibiu-Pitesti section faces large technical challenges and will not open before 2020 at the earliest. Last year the government decided its road building priorities were in the south west and east of the country.
Because of the transport difficulties, most of Dacia’s production – 430,000 units in 2013 – is exported through the Black Sea port of Constanta, in the opposite direction to Western Europe.
The protest was not endorsed by Dacia management but the company did allow workers the time off.
Last month, Dacia general manager Nicolas Faure was quoted by news agency Mediafax saying, ‘It is very important for us to have easy access to the [Hungary] border in Arad, and this is a priority that we’ve communicated to the Government. According to our calculations, we would save EUR 30 per vehicle if there was a highway.’
roundup: FUEL. A driver caught in Saarbrucken with 220 litres of fuel bought in Luxembourg was forced to pay €280 in tax. The maximum amount outside the fuel tank tax-free is 20 litres. Unleaded is currently €1.315 in Luxembourg and €1.568 in Germany according to fuel-prices-info. NEW EUROPE BRIDGE. In defiance of expectations, ours included, the new bridge over the Danube between Vidin and Calafat in the west of Romania and Bulgaria is doing well. 300,000 vehicles have used it since it opened last June with bilateral trade growing by 6-9% to top €3bn according to local reports. FREIGHT. The IRU has produced a video on the background to the on-going dispute with the Russian Customs authorities over the international TIR system. CARS. Brussels Autoworld is well worth a visit says @Nick_Stafford. It’s in the east of the city centre with a collection of 250 vehicles, from sporting to historic to Belgian makes.