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Truck drivers block road to protest Polish customs

  • 2000-05-18
MARIJAMPOLE, Lithuania (BNS) - Scores of truck drivers blocked the Kaunas-Marijampole-Suvalkai highway in Lithuania's southwestern Marijampole district on the afternoon of May 11 in protest of what they said was the poor work of Polish customs officials.

About 100 truck drivers gathered outside the Kalvarijos border check-point at 1:50 p.m. local time and blocked the traffic in both directions, said the Lithuanian Police Department.

The drivers reopened the road at about 2:55 p.m. No incidents were reported during the blockade. The authorities say that the drivers blocked the road after a nine-kilometer queue of trucks accumulated at the border that morning. The line was three kilometers long on the next morning, May 12.

The Lithuanian border police department said 417 trucks crossed the Kalvarijos-Budzisk border check-point on the night of May 12 - somewhat more than the night before.

A spokeswoman for the Polish Central Customs Board said that the line at the Lithuanian-Polish border had been extended through the fault of Polish customs officials.

She said that Polish customs officials started checking trucks for illegal passengers although the vehicles had been X-rayed earlier.

The customs officials consulted their chief and stopped the procedure.