Skip to comments.‘Tolls are coming’ to Germany’s autobahns
Posted on 11/20/2016 11:52:20 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
BERLIN German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt’s political future is tied to the success of imposing a toll on foreign drivers using the country’s autobahns, and despite being slapped down by the European Commission he isn’t giving up on the idea.
The tolls are coming, Dobrindt told the Bild newspaper on Friday, following news that the EU and Germany are about to settle their dispute over introducing the payments. I am confident that we will be able to close negotiations with the EU Commission on a positive note in November.
Dobrindt told reporters he expected tolls to come into effect after national elections in the fall of 2017.
Imposing a toll on foreign cars using the country’s highways has become a key political issue in Germany, and especially in Bavaria, Dobrindt’s power base. Germans pay for the upkeep of the autobahns through their taxes, and there is growing resentment at outsiders using the roads for free. Germany is one of only a few EU countries not to charge for road use.
Getting a payment scheme functioning could also help Dobrindt’s political career: Last month, Horst Seehofer, Bavaria’s premier and chief of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, announced he would not run for party chief next year.
That has opened up a succession battle ahead of regional elections in 2018, and Dobrindt is seen as a contender. Putting the long-awaited autobahn toll into practice, perceived as a Bavarian triumph over Berlin and Brussels, would boost Dobrindt’s standing in Munich.
But he still has political and legal obstacles to overcome before he can safely impose a toll.
The first hurdle is to ensure that German drivers aren’t saddled with extra costs. Merkels spokesperson said that Dobrindts new plans have the chancellor’s support as long as German drivers won’t pay more.
Back in 2013, ahead of the last national election, the CSU focused much of its campaign on the issue, much to Merkel’s dismay. She promised “there would be no such thing as a toll for drivers.”
The problem for Dobrindt has been how to finesse the issue of imposing a toll that hits only foreigners without falling foul of EU rules barring discrimination based on nationality.
Germany’s parliament passed a toll law in 2015, which ran into immediate trouble with the Commission. The original idea would have allowed Germans to deduct the cost of the toll as much as 130 a year from their taxes, something foreigners can’t do. Brussels took Germany to the European Court of Justice in September over the plan, forcing Dobrindt to negotiate a compromise with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The two sides said this week they expect a deal later this month. News of an agreement was celebrated in Munich as a Bavarian victory. In an interview with German broadcaster ARD, CSU general secretary Andreas Scheuer said the toll would give his party “tail wind.”
The new plan calls for Berlin to link tax breaks to rewards for environmentally friendly cars, and to lower the cost of short-term passes for driving through Germany, according to sources familiar with the scheme. In return the Commission will drop the ECJ case.
Now Dobrindt will likely have to push the compromise through the German parliament, and there are early signs of trouble from the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partner in Germany’s ruling coalition.
During talks creating the coalition after the 2013 elections, the Bavarians forced through the toll, but both Merkel and the SPD insisted on adding the condition that it would only be introduced if it meant no additional costs for German drivers. Although SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel reportedly instructed his party to support the new plan, the SPD remains generally critical.
The CSU should not plan any motorcade in Munich to celebrate there is no breakthrough yet, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, the SPD’s deputy leader, told German news agency DPA on Friday.
In an interview with Spiegel magazine, Sören Bartol, the deputy chief of the SPD group in the Bundestag, said those changes would likely need to be approved by the parliament, and that his party would stick to what had been written down in the 2013 coalition agreement.
This includes particularly that no German driver will have any additional costs compared to today, he said.
Maybe they should put a toll gate between themselves and all those turd world Islamic refugees... the least Saudi Arabia could do is pay their tool, wait Saudi Arabia is already doing their least, which is nothing, well nothing but help create the problem...
Right now....zero chance the toll deal will occur. The opposition party (SPD) isn’t buying off on the deal. With the election set for September, I don’t think anything related to this will occur over the next 10 months. It’ll just sit and linger.
Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn
They owe us in the currency of blood. 3000 of my fellow NYers.
I want it paid back in blood, not money.
Most sickening unpunished act against America in history. The marine base bombing in Lebanon is up there too.
“Government can certainly be trusted to remove the tollbooths once whatever project they are financing has been satisfactorily paid.” Yep, just like they did here in NJ. Oooops, they didn’t remove them. I’ve long thought NJ should change its slogan from “the garden state” to “the toll booth state”.
Can we give them the tolls over the Susquehanna and Hatem bridges? Please?
Well, it sure looks like ISIS is now consuming many “lesser” Muslims as well as one another. And when Trump and Putin agree on what to do with it, ISIS will be one massive fountain of blood. I’d say don’t bother wishing for what is already happening.
This is Merkel’s plan to finance all the illegals she allowed to over run her country.
seems like any place where they start accepting hordes of Muslims they have to find ways to increase taxes or in this case, tolls. Same thing. If they had their way, every vehicle would have GPS (actually they all do after 2014) and charge by the mile. There would be no toll booths but America has clearly told them no way to this many times and even set up organizations to combat this because not everyone makes millions a year and has a stream of endless credit cards they can use to fund feeding their pig faces at the trough. The truth is Communists would have you pay them to work for the government if they had their way. I read a recent article written by several young deluded authors about how technology will assist us in the future and the idiots said that we won’t have to work anymore because everything will be “free”. Whoever the idiot professors are teaching this to obviously need to take a course in economics because they clearly don’t understand that someone has to get paid in order for the financial systems to operate, actually for society to operate. They don’t seem to get that there are chores to be done, food that needs to be prepared, houses to be built to live, cars to manufacture, etc... People don’t do this for free. They need those things in order to live and function and other people aren’t just going to give away things for free.
It’s very obvious that these young college age “children” have never worked a day in their life yet they are allowed to write opinions in online commentary published by the MSM which gives them the appearance of “professionals”. And they won’t let you make comments so other idiots like themselves will buy it. I hope Trump comes up with a solution to deal with the MSM because they are out of control.
This article should be titled “NaziPass Comes Home”.
They don't remove them because they make sure they are never done paying for the roads. "What, it's almost paid off? Quick, plan a new spur or some truck lanes or a giant arts center or...anything!"
Besides Oh. You said TOLLS?
Neverminnnd. (with a Roseanne Roseannadanna twang)
Will they have 200 KPH E-Z Pass express lanes at the tolls?
Manned, oh excuse me staffed/operated by Trolls.
Hey, at least they’re “only” 6 dollars with E-Z pass (down from $7.20).
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