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    Polish Infrastructure Minister to Address Transport Industry Protests at Ukraine Border

    In response to ongoing protests obstructing Poland’s border crossings with Ukraine, newly appointed Polish Infrastructure Minister, Alvin Gajadhur, is set to engage with representatives of the transport industry. The announcement was made by Piotr Mueller, the spokesperson for the Polish government, on the day of Gajadhur’s swearing-in ceremony as part of Mateusz Morawiecki’s cabinet.

    The meeting with members of the Polish haulage industry is scheduled to take place either on Tuesday or Wednesday, providing a platform for dialogue amid the escalating border disruptions caused by the protests. The primary focus of the discussions will center on the grievances raised by Polish lorry drivers, who initiated their protest on November 6.

    One of the key demands of the protesting drivers is the reinstatement of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies, enabling them to transport goods—excluding humanitarian aid and military equipment. Additionally, they seek the suspension of operating permits for Ukrainian haulage firms established post the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

    The drivers argue that their businesses are adversely affected by Ukrainian firms offering lower wages to truckers, resulting in reduced operational costs and creating unfair competition with Polish companies. This economic disparity has prompted the protest, emphasizing the need for policy changes to address the drivers’ concerns.

    Mueller indicated that the contentious issue will also be brought to the attention of the EU’s Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy Council (TTE) during its sitting on December 4. Potential solutions to be explored include the consideration of commercial permits, a key demand put forth by the protesting hauliers.

    As Minister Gajadhur navigates these discussions, the hope is that a constructive dialogue can pave the way for resolutions that balance the interests of both Polish and Ukrainian stakeholders within the transport industry.

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