The Spanish Police hope to clear the border crossing of La Junquera this morning, after announcing the end of the Tsunami Democràtic mobilizations. Agricultural food exports, especially of fruits and vegetables, were among the activities most affected by the blockade.
The Tsunami Democràtic independence platform ended last Monday the mobilization on Catalan roads, which blocked the AP-7 motorway at different points in Girona, and described this 3-day action as an absolute success.
A little after 8:00 am, Tsunami Democràtic wrote on its Twitter account: "We have reached the goal in the AP-7 and thus put an end to this 3-day mobilization." At 10:00 hours, the Catalan Traffic Service continued to report on its website that the AP-7 was still blocked by La Junquera.
Yesterday, Fepex, the main organization of the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector, demanded the Government adopt measures to guarantee road traffic at the border crossing of La Junquera (Girona), as 11,000 of their shipments to Europe go through this border every week. In fact, 95% of Spanish fruit and vegetable shipments to community neighbors are sent by truck, mainly from the Region of Murcia and the province of Almeria.
The director of Fepex, Jose Maria Pozancos, stated: “A large number of trucks with very perishable fruits and vegetables are paralyzed in the AP-7, in La Junquera, the main border crossing for this sector to access the markets of Central and Northern Europe."
He also said the Government should consider that the prolonging of this situation could generate serious disturbances in the production areas of these products, as they have a strong dependence on sales in foreign markets.
One hundred million euro in losses
The International Road Transport Association (Astic) estimated that the blockades at the border crossings of La Junquera and Le Perthus have caused more than 100 million euro in losses due to billing and cargo, logistic routes, and commercial damage to customers.
The general director of Astic, Ramon Valdivia, stressed on Tuesday that “the damage to transport companies has a multiplier effect on the rest of the productive sectors that have been affected, with an estimate of more than 500 million euro in total losses.”
The association criticized “the lack of prevention measures and the inaction of the Spanish authorities."
"It seems that saboteurs are more aware of the strategic importance of road transport than our own political leaders," Valdivia added.
According to the association's data, more than 70% of Spanish exports are made through the only two border crossings to the rest of Europe, located in Girona and Guipuzcoa, which in their opinion are insufficient and even unreliable.
Damage to Catalonia and Spain
The CEOE also demanded the Executive act in coordination with France to solve the situation and guarantee the free movement of goods and people.
According to their calculations, the damage could amount to nearly 25 million euro per year. They also stated that 10,000 heavy vehicles pass through that border and that the Spanish and French governments were responsible for preventing and dissolving these blockages.
The CEOE has warned that this situation will damage the economic activity of Catalonia and the rest of Spain, with direct losses in the billing of transport companies, due to the perishable part of the cargo, the changes in logistics flows, and the consequences on production and distribution.
The representatives of the sector in the CEOE stated that businessmen and professional drivers were tired of this type of blockades and disturbances, which they have already suffered recently due to the general elections and because of groups like the Defense of the Republic Committees (CDR), which protested the ruling against the independentist leaders made by the Supreme Court.