New rules that German, Austrian, French and Belgian authorities are mulling could put around 15,000 Hungarian lorry drivers out of a job, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said on Friday after meeting representatives of haulage companies.
Varga insisted the chief aim of the regulatory changes was to force Central European haulage companies out of the western European market.
The minister cited a German rule requiring lorry drivers to spend their rest periods in commercial accommodation rather than in their cabs. This would raise costs, making it hard for drivers to meet the new conditions.
Regulatory changes that would limit competition and the free movement of services would severely damage the Hungarian budget, diminishing revenue by around 1 percent of GDP, or 300 billion forints (EUR 977m), as haulage companies would be forced out of business, he added.
Varga said the government would lobby at every level to counter the adverse changes.