Austria threatens action over motorway toll
Tom Bristow · 23 Dec 2013, 15:24
Published: 23 Dec 2013 15:24 GMT+01:00
- Foreigner motorway fee 'fine under EU law' (31 Oct 13)
- Transport chief: Charge foreigners on autobahns (02 Oct 13)
- Bavarian leader: charge foreigners autobahn fee (12 Aug 13)
The Austrians claim that making foreigners pay to drive on Germany’s roads is against European Union law.
On Monday the country’s transport minister Doris Bures said: “We will not allow Austrian drivers to be discriminated against.”
Speaking in newspaper Österreich, she said: “We will proceed with all necessary steps, including an appeal at the European Union Court of Justice."
Bures said the German plan was against EU rules as it discriminated against foreigners from other EU member states. But the charge was mentioned in the coalition contract drawn up between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the centre-left SPD at the behest of Merkel’s Bavarian allies the Christian Social Union (CSU).
The CSU believes there is a way to charge foreign drivers on German roads by reducing German road tax. A charge would then be introduced on all drivers, but Germans would be paying the same amount as before their road tax was reduced.
Germany’s transport minister Alexander Dobrindt (CSU) said over the weekend that the charge could be in place by 2015. It would work by drivers buying a vignette costing around €100 a year.