Netherlands joins Austria in suing Germany over motorway toll scheme

PPP-Toll-Gate

The Netherlands will join Austria in a European Court suit against Germany’s plans for a motorway toll which will discriminate against foreigners, the Transportation Ministry announced on Wednesday.

The Netherlands had already telegraphed its intention when Austria filed the lawsuit in October.

It argued that the German plan violated European guidelines.

“The cabinet finds, just like Austria, that the German motorway toll plan is discriminatory and violates the principles of free traffic flow,’’ a statement said.

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The ministry estimated that the toll would cost Dutch car drivers between 60 million Euros and 100 million Euros (70.5 million dollars and 117.5 million dollars) a year.

Under the plan, German drivers are to be compensated for paying the toll through rebates on their motor vehicle taxes.

However, drivers from other EU countries, such as Austria, Italy and France, would get no such rebate and pay the full amount.

Report says the law is the result of a compromise with the European Commission, which forced Berlin to make the toll fairer for non-Germans, while millions of drivers in neighbouring countries regularly use German roads.

The motorway toll has long been a key demand of the Christian Social Union, the Bavaria-only sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.