Opposition to stop car toll: Now Germany's neighbors are to help

The opponents of the car toll in Germany now hope to Austria and the Netherlands. They could complain before the ECJ and still bring down the favorite project of the CSU.

The Austrian Minister of Transport considers the tolls to be discriminatory and not compatible with EU law.
(Photo: iStock2)

Greens and leftists in the Bundestag were now supporting the neighboring countries in the fight against the controversial car toll. As soon as the complaint announced by Austria was submitted, all preparations for the toll would have to be stopped immediately, said Herbert Behrens, the left-wing traffic expert of the German Press Agency. Green parliamentary group leader Oliver Krischer added that since the CDU and the SPD are unfortunately unable to stop the "madness", the neighbors in Europe would have to do so.
The Austrian Transport Minister, Jörg Leichtfried had announced after the decision of the Federal Council last Friday that "immediate" legal action should be taken. "I consider this toll to be discriminatory and incompatible with EU law." The background is that the tolls have to pay all drivers, but the costs only to the German motor vehicle owners are replaced by tax reductions.
Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt had sharp criticism of the government in Vienna. "The Austrians seem to be dealing with a serious case of toll schizophrenia," the CSU politician told the "Munich Mercury". "Cashing in Austria, but not wanting to contribute to infrastructure financing in Germany - for this I understand zerokommanull."
The tolls will be collected from 2019 onwards. However, an action before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can only be brought in when the EU Commission has ended its proceedings for infringement of EU law against Germany, said Leichtfried. Brussels wants to do this if the changes to the toll laws passed by the Federal Council are officially sealed. The Netherlands wants to await an opinion from the EU Commission before a possible action.
Thuringia had surprisingly decided in the Federal Council not to delay the car toll by means of a mediation procedure. This vote of the Erfurt regional government fell only after the pledge of a regional railway project. Dobrindt Thuringia's Prime Minister, Bodo Ramelow (left), had given the sponsorship promise to the night before the vote, several media reported.