Truckers stranded in Zeebrugge since Tuesday due to farmers' blockade
Due to the farmers' protests, around 2000 trucks are stuck in the Zeebrugge area. The farmers have been blocking access to the port of Zeebrugge since Tuesday afternoon, which leaves drivers stranded without access to food or sanitary infrastructure.
West Flanders governor Carl Decaluwé declared a state of emergency in the province on Thursday. He also talked to the protestors in person on Friday morning. "[The protestors] sympathise with the truck drivers, but they are really fed up. That's why we have to look for solutions," he said.
"[The protestors] sympathise with the truck drivers, but they are really fed up."
On Friday afternoon, Decaluwé will hold a consultation with farmers in Bruges. "There we will see what we can do regarding the truck drivers, the global economy and the opening up of Zeebrugge."
In response, the city of Bruges and Red Cross West Flanders were handing out bottles of water and pastries to stranded truck drivers on Friday, and additional 40 portable toilets have been installed.
Millions of euros
Transport company manager Gert-Jan De Smet called the situation "dangerous" on Radio 1 on Friday morning. The action will also have financial consequences, De Smet warned, as the delays will cost the Belgian economy millions of euros.
The police are warning of disruption and delays and urge people to avoid the Zeebrugge area. "The port area is completely saturated by waiting heavy transport. So be particularly careful when passing there," a statement said. Trucks heading for the port of Zeebrugge will be diverted to Ostend Airport, which has room for 1,000 trucks.
"I have the impression that as long as there is no signal from Brussels, they will continue to campaign"
How long the protestors will stay in Zeebrugge is still unclear. "I have the impression that as long as there is no signal from Brussels, they will continue to campaign," Decaluwé said.
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