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Road Trip Day 7 - Europe's truck driver shortage

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Road Trip Day 7
Road Trip Day 7
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The European Parliamentary elections are only nine weeks away, and as part of Euronews' Road Trip Europe, we are travelling around the continent and talking to voters to find out what issues matter most to them.

Jose Polo and Daniel Rodriguez are truck drivers who have spent the past seven days on the road, travelling from Germany.

But this is their life, and Jose has been doing it for 17 years.

“I have worked in farms, as a painter... have done many things. And the truth is this is my passion. If you don’t like it, you don’t last in this job," he said.

“This work is hard. You have to fight against your body. If you’re tired... you can’t sleep."

Jose loves his job, but now it has become more difficult than ever.

European truck companies are struggling to retain drivers, putting more pressure on people like Jose and Daniel.

According to the International Road Transport Union, the European road transport sector is facing the most acute professional driver shortage in decades and 40% of posts are expected to remain unfilled this year.

Low salaries and long hours are considered a major factor in the industry's staff shortage.

"I can earn, in a good month, 1,700 euros," Jose said.

“Before we were paid fairly, but now... My employer is doing okay, and there are other companies that are emerging. But workers are the ones who have been the most affected.”

Adding to the pressure, is the impact it has on drivers' personal lives.

“It breaks one’s heart to have to leave your family behind... and not to see one’s wife and kid. But at least we’re here and we’ll take money home," said Daniel.