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The Trucker's Nightmare That Could Flatten Europe's Economy

Three decades of borderless travel at risk with new checks — permanent curbs could cost 470 billion euros over 10 years.
AUSTRIA SHENGEN
Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg
Updated on

Peering through his rain-lashed windshield, Zoltan Unczorg alternates edgily between the brake and the gas pedal of his 18-wheeler. "It’s very tiring," the sturdy Hungarian complains as he crawls along in a line of vehicles approaching the Austria-Germany border.

After more than eight hours carrying fan parts, Unczorg has no more patience for delays. And this day was better than usual. He’s had to endure waits of about four hours at this checkpoint, set up last September to hunt for migrants on the A3 highway near the German city of Passau. It’s a route he plies daily for electric-motor maker EBM-Papst Group.