Romanian truckers to protest after horrific killing of fellow driver in French lorry park

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Following the tragic incident that occured in France last Saturday, in which a Romanian driver was killed in a rest area by a man wielding a knife, as well as the recent attacks on HGVs by migrants in Calais, the degree of indignation among Romanian drivers is growing rapidly. There is much frustration with the authorities of both France and Romania, and Romanian truckers in France are now set to protest during next Monday’s public holiday. Eight Romanian MEPs have also sent an open letter to three European Commissioners demanding action to safeguard lorry drivers working in the EU.

The Romanian truck drivers say they are scared and feel abandoned by their employers and the authorities.

Due to the above, truckers have decided to launch a peaceful protest next Monday. Daniel Grasu, a Romanian driver, is one of those who has appealed to his colleagues to join the demonstration:

I urge my colleagues to take part in this peaceful protest. Anyone can put a message on the windshield. It is not mandatory, but we must do something to let the authorities see that we are many and that we can stop if necessary. I chose a special Monday [Whit Monday], a day when there is no work [in France], so that no one has an excuse for not being able to participate.  – Daniel Grasu told Trans.INFO’s Romanian service.

The protest is being organised under the slogan “Je Suis Mihai”, Mihai of course being the name of the lorry driver who tragically had his life taken from him last weekend.

The organisers of the protest have proposed that the participants place either “Je Suis Mihai” or the following message on their windshield:


Alternatively, drivers may tie a black ribbon to one of their mirrors as a sign of solidarity.

In a message posted on Facebook, Daniel Grasu also appealed to the owners of transport companies to take part: “We also invite the owners to join in with is drivers – in the end the trucks are theirs and it’s also about their money.”

After the announcement of the protest, Grasu told Trans.INFO that he had received almost 5,000 messages of support from various colleagues.

Posted by Povești de prin parcări on Tuesday, 18 May 2021

“What did you call me for? I don’t see any thieves.” – a Romanian cartoonist’s take on the situation in French lorry parks

Meanwhile, USR MEP Vlad Gheorghe, the initiator of the #RefuzAbuz movement, has written to the European Union authorities to draw attention to the situation of Romanian drivers. He questioned the European Commission, the French authorities and the Romanian Consulate about the case of the Romanian driver killed in France last weekend.

Vlad Gheorghe is of the opinion that such areas should offer a minimum level of services and security systems in the event of emergency:

We asked the relevant French ministry for an analysis of the number and type of similar incidents recorded in the last three years. It is important to know how many of these have been resolved. I’m trying to find out if the French authorities have a strategy to prevent and combat crimes against truck drivers in the Calais area, what they think are the causes and what measures are needed, because this case is not an isolated one, on the contrary, the area is recognized for a high level of crime on trucks and drivers, many of them Romanians.

MEP Carmen Avram also took a stand :

I have sent, this evening, an interpellation to the European Commission in connection with the tragedy in the north of France, in which Mihai Spătaru lost his life under the eyes of his wife. The Romanian, a truck driver, was killed in cold blood – apparently by an immigrant – in an area that those in the field say look more and more like no man’s land. While writing the text of the interpellation, I received a message from a colleague of Mihai’s, who complains not only about the danger that awaits the truck drivers going to England, but also about the fact that, often, the drivers who defend themselves are being punished more severely by the French police than the attackers are.

In addition, eight Romanian MEPs, including Vlad Gheorghe, have put their names to the following open letter sent to the EU Commissioners for Transports, Home Affairs, and Jobs and Social Rights:

Photo credit:

Thanks to Olga Corochii from Trans.INFO Romania for her assistance in producing this article