UWC supports Ukrainian community in Italy
18 November 2013
UWC supports the Ukrainian community in Italy
On 18 November 2013, the President of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) Eugene Czolij sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Italy, Enrico Letta, supporting the Christian Association of Ukrainians in Italy, which has made an appeal regarding the enforcement of fines on minibuses traveling between Ukraine and Italy.
The UWC expressed grave concern about the issue which involves Italian police stopping minibuses travelling from Ukraine, fining the drivers 4,130 Euros,and even seizing the minibuses on the basis that they do not have transportation licenses.
For many of the over 250,000 Ukrainian citizens legally residing in Italy, these minibuses are the sole connection with their relatives in Ukraine. They provide the only affordable transportation service of both passengers and parcels. Without the minibuses, these Ukrainian citizens in Italy would be physically cut off from their families in Ukraine, many of whom rely on them for their day‑to-day subsistence. The goods shipped between family members are of a humanitarian character and should not be categorized as commercial in nature, as they are not meant for resale.
The UWC President called upon the Italian Prime Minister to ensure that high-level officials of the Italian government and leaders of the Christian Association of Ukrainiansin Italy meet to find a reasonable and practical solution. In addition, until a solution is found, the UWC asked that a moratorium be imposed on fining minibuses travelling from Ukraine.