- Title: German govt agrees plans for highway toll after deal with EU
- Date: 25th January 2017
- Summary: MUNICH, GERMANY (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF A9 MOTORWAY WITH SIGNS SHOWING FOR SALZBURG AND INNSBRUCK BERLIN, GERMANY (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS VIGNETTES IN CAR WINDOWS PIDING / WALSERBERG (BORDER TO AUSTRIA) (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PLACES TO BUY VIGNETTES VARIOUS OF MAN BUYING VIGNETTE
- Embargoed: 8th February 2017 16:30
- Keywords: Motorway toll Austria EU Germany
- Location: MUNICH, PIDING, WALSERBERG + BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: MUNICH, PIDING, WALSERBERG + BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Budget/Taxation/Revenue,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00260KUUYV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Germany's cabinet approved plans on Wednesday (January 25) to introduce a highway toll for cars after resolving a dispute with the European Commission that had said the planned charge would discriminate against foreign drivers.
Under the new plans, Germany will introduce a highway toll for cars registered abroad with prices linked to environmental criteria. Cars that pollute less will pay a lower rate. The maximum annual cost for a foreign vehicle would be 130 euros.
"I plead to the Austrians to play fair. The Austrians have had a working toll system for the last 20 years. When Austria introduced the toll at the time, they decided on significant benefits for Austrian drivers. For example: the commuters flat-rate. We are doing nothing different today. The EU regulations are clear. There should not be any double burden as a result of a system change. And that is why it is right that we have provided a relief in the form of car taxes," German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said.
Vehicles registered in Germany will pay the toll but will get corresponding tax deductions which will decrease for less environmentally friendly cars.
The toll was championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative allies in Bavaria.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the new system was a major change because it shifted financing of roads to the user.
The European Commission in Brussels had said the original plans, approved by the German parliament in 2015, were discriminatory and therefore violated EU rules. The two sides settled their differences last month.
The new charge will take effect after Germany's federal election in September.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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