Danish blockade ‘could continue until Christmas’

Danish lorry drivers blocked bridges and ports Monday to halt transport to Sweden and Norway in protest at new EU regulations on working hours.

Danish blockade 'could continue until Christmas'
Photo: Drago Prvulovic/Scanpix

The truck drivers stopped goods traffic from crossing from Denmark into Sweden by blockading the Öresund Bridge and the ferry port in Helsingör.

The drivers are protesting against new European Union rules limiting work hours and required rest periods, as well as stricter EU controls and fines.

One driver was reportedly fined 50,000 Danish kroner (63,000 kronor, $9,700 dollars)

for forgetting to hit a button in his lorry to indicate he was on a break.

By 7:30am on Monday, queues were 90 trucks long on the Danish side of the bridge, according to Jopas Wulff, traffic manager of the Öresund Bridge.

The blockades did not target individual vehicles, buses or transports of live animals.

The drivers told Danish media the action could be prolonged, which could hit Danish trade.

“These blockade actions could continue until Christmas,” a spokesman for the drivers, Per Thuesen, told regional broadcaster TV2.

He has already warned that 200 trucks are ready to block all ferries and border posts. “It is obvious that this will have unpleasant consequences for people, but this is our only and last chance to draw the politicians’ attention,” he added.

The protests started on Sunday with drivers blocking the E45 motorway between Denmark and Germany.

Both employers and unions have criticized the drivers’ actions. Danish Justice Minister Lene Espersen called on the drivers to let trucks through.

TT/AFP/The Local