Dutch trucks blocked at Romanian in 'bacteria scare'

19th September 2011, Comments 10 comments

A dozen Dutch trucks carrying flowers have been stopped at the Romanian border with authorities saying they feared the presence of a dangerous bacteria, amid a diplomatic row between the two countries.

"During an inspection of all imports of flowers, bulbs and seeds from EU countries, 15 trucks have been identified starting Friday evening," the Romanian tax administration (ANAF) said in a press release.

Ten of the 15 trucks were blocked at the border pending test results, two were confiscated and three others were sent back to the Netherlands, it added.

ANAF spokeswoman Sabina Zeres told AFP that most of the trucks came from the Netherlands, which is the main supplier of flowers to the Romanian market.

She added that samples had been taken from flowers and seeds after the phytosanitary agency said that they might contain a dangerous bacteria.

But both the agriculture ministry and the customs department told AFP they had no clue whatsoever about the nature of this bacteria or the circumstances that triggered the alert.

The Dutch embassy too said it was seeking more information from the Romanian authorities "on why these measures were taken."

"Dutch companies exporting to Romania have expressed their concerns directly to the embassy and to the relevant authorities" in The Hague, it said.

"The Netherlands is of the opinion that all measures implemented by the Romanian authorities should be in accordance with the EU legal framework," the embassy stressed.

Local media linked the measures to the Dutch government's opposition to the bid by Romania and Bulgaria to enter Europe's visa-free Schengen zone.

"The Schengen Bacteria", ran the front-page headline of Adevarul daily.

"The Netherlands' no to Romania's entry to Schengen has triggered reprisals at the borders," the daily said, describing what it called the "war of the flowers."

© 2011 AFP

10 Comments To This Article

  • Traian posted:

    on 21st September 2011, 10:24:40 - Reply

    "Libérté, Egalité, Fratérnité!" ???!!!
    Are you so naive to believe this french governmental graffitti and the hypocrite french politicians?! It looks they're stuck in the old days of "ho mo, homini, lupus".

    If sustainability is what people want, how come thousands and thousands of lorries and cargos keep polluting the atmosphere?

    Everybody's quality of life can improve overnight if the governments would promote better environmental policies, organic agriculture instead of exports.

    What kind of Europe do we want to build? What kind of world for tommorrow? Think about the fact that the way one european country acts towards another might be the way some noneuropean countries will soon act towards the first...
    "Do unto the others as you would have them do unto you."...

  • Dacia Felix posted:

    on 21st September 2011, 07:33:13 - Reply

    Netherland is imposing to Romania and Bulgaria rules that don't exist in the Schengen agreement. When Romania applied to enter Schengen agreement, she had certain contractual and technical conditions that the country fully met. Romania spent 1 milliard euros to meet these conditions only to see that is rebuket for reasons that have nothing to do with the Schengen agreement. If these reasons were true, why Netherland did not tell Romania from the very beginning that she will oppose Romania's entry no matter what? One milliard of euros of money that Romania could ill afford would have been spared. But EU was dishonest in regard to Romania, she made promises that had no intention to meet. We have a Romanian word for that, it is called tzeapa. An one milliard tzeapa was what Netherland and the rest of EU did to Romania.
  • Dan posted:

    on 20th September 2011, 17:33:06 - Reply

    Netherlands asked for tighter border controls in Romania, and it is what it got. Dutch trucks with improper documents are sent back home with their merchandise.
  • Andrei posted:

    on 20th September 2011, 10:59:45 - Reply

    On one hand I must admit that to some extent I share the same opinion with most EU countries regarding the newly come neighbours, Romania and Bulgaria. As a Romanian, I also see, every day, that justice, apparently, does not work as it should.
    But then guess what, I see that it goes the same way for most other countries. Every country has mafia, every country has bribery, every country has corrupt officials and members of the internal affairs, police, prosecutors, etc.
    Just because all eyes are on us, for the moment, Europe, or EU specifically should not forget all other problems of all other countries within the Union. Just because at some point, precisely determined in time, a country has technically fulfilled some list of criteria, this doesn't mean that everything goes on smooth and perfect for ever.

    Netherlands, and all other European countries that have somehow adopted an opposing position should also promote partnership, cooperation, help, provide expertise and invite the member countries to what the meaning of the word "Union" really stands for. And I do not believe this is the case.

    It is easy to be against, it is easy to fear and reject. But we are also humans, citizens of the world, citizens of a free, united Europe. Whilst France and Germany have somehow reconsidered their position we see that Romanian people are arrested in France just because of their nationality. This while both France and Romania have various partnerships and Romania is declared a Francophonic country who also held The Francophonie Summit in Bucharest.

    How about corruption, discrimination and the functionality of the state and justice apparatus now? Or how about the integration of Roma people? How fair is it to promote expulsion when amid media all countries promote social integration and social policies for minorities?

    How about joint efforts? How about loyalty to the same principles which are shouted every day in the media but nobody respects? How about truth? How about "Liberte, egalite, fraternite" ?...

    This is all very sad. Especially the many efforts Romania, Bulgaria or other similar countries from the former communist block have undergone just to see that it is all in vain and we are asked to stand up for principles that nobody else cares about anyway.

    Thank you!

  • Piglia posted:

    on 20th September 2011, 00:57:19 - Reply

    . I have to say that Holland government position according the Schengen area extension is correct . I travel a lot, and I saw a lot of things which prove that the corruption level inside the borders area is very high. I know very well the situation from The International Airport Henry Coanda , which is the largest border gate of Romania (6 mil. passenger/year). The corruption here is almost everywhere. If you enter inside the airport, you will see that ALL the restaurants and bars are managed by one company, Alpha Rocas, and my Romanian friends told me that general manager of the Alpha Rocas (which is a Lebanese citizen) pays a ‘’special tax’’ to some important people from the Ministry of Transportation. I believe this story because I read some articles in the Romanian Press. This is how corruption works.Last year the Airport was controled by ANAF. ANAF is the National Agency for Fiscal Administration. The ANAF inspectors find that the management of the airport stole 50 mil. Euros (the total business of the airport is 120 mil. Euro/year). They sent their rapport to the police and to the prosecution. Nothing happened. I believe that in an area where for a ‘’correct price’’ you can have the monopoly of the bars and restaurants activity, where the security company which take care of the Airport , starts its activity with 2 days before the contract is signed (before it was a cleaning company), Is a place where a friend of Mr. Bin Laden can enter into EU very easy , if he agree to pay a ‘’Correct Price’’.
  • Kees posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 23:24:07 - Reply

    Stop all Romanian export to the NL.
    That means criminals and Roma.
  • Tanti Mitzi posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 19:43:38 - Reply

    Netherland declared that they cannot trust the "corrupted" Romanian border control. Now that Romania carefully controls their trucks the Dutch are crying blackmail. Is not control that they wanted? They got it.
  • MrBlahBlah posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 19:11:21 - Reply

    Two EuroMPs, Wim van de Camp and Esther de Lange from the CDA, started screaming that the Romanians were trying to blackmail poor little NL and went running to Eurocomissioner Michel Barnier at DG Internal Market. This was after NL slammed the door on Romanian workers (after welcoming them years past) and then tried to slam the door on Schengen for Romania. Talk about dishing it out but not being able to take it.
  • Borgir posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 17:58:42 - Reply

    Obviously the Dutch flowers are contaminated with 'Shengen No entry bacteria' which was made in Holland.
    Romanian customs officers must show them how well we guard our borders. Isn`t that what they want ?
  • Nick posted:

    on 19th September 2011, 17:44:47 - Reply

    Romania is not a Dutch county so they have the right for all checks they have done.At the end of the day why to buy flowers from an declared enemy as Dutch Government is and give him 20 millions euro every year instead of buying from a more friendly business partner...or grow your own plants as it will be more profitable ...