For Whom the EU Tolls: Germany Keen on Gouging Any and All Drivers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
for whom the eu tolls germany keen on gouging any and all drivers

What if you had to pay a toll to drive anywhere? It’s entirely possible that such a proposal would spark a backlash in the road-hungry United States, but the idea hasn’t won over everyone in eco-conscious Europe, either.

In addition to existing steep fuel taxes, Germany wants to see a blanket road toll go into effect across the continent.

According to a draft document seen by Reuters, the country’s transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, aims to bring such a toll into effect later this year.

Europe is already awash in tolls, though most apply mainly to large commercial vehicles. A proposal to toll Germany’s famed autobahns met with defeat last year, after the European Court of Justice ruled that such a move would unfairly penalize drivers from other countries.

From Reuters:

Within eight years, almost all vehicles on motorways, including lorries, vans and cars, would have to pay tolls, according to the draft for the EU toll directive.

“As regards member states that have already established a charging system, tolls or user charges shall be levied upon all vehicles except coaches and buses,” stated the document which Scheuer wants German ministries to approve on Wednesday.

That would make it Germany’s official proposal for its presidency of the bloc which started on July 1 and runs until the end of the year.

Pushback has apparently already begun, with sources telling Reuters that certain German ministries want to see the proposal shelved. However, most agree that the imposition of distance-based tolling is the best way to provide expensive infrastructure with sustainable funding.

Your author, who likes maps and takes great pains to avoid forking over a cent on the Ohio Turnpike and New York State Thruway (to say nothing of Ontario’s Highway 407 ETR), applauds those unnamed ministries, though even he can see the appeal in going all-toll, all the time.

In the end, political wrangling might win the day, as one of the parties keeping Chancellor Angela Merkel in power is no fan of road tolls.

[Image: Daimler]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jul 23, 2020

    Lie2You, Have you been in Germany lately? American news channels completely ignore Europe. If you live in USA you may think that the rest of the world does not exist. There is a powerful right wing opposition in Germany and especially in the East Germany where people had enough of communist oppression and crime.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jul 24, 2020

      "American news channels completely ignore Europe" Not entirely true but how many Americans actually care to know what goes on globally? Last points: - Some of us don't live in the USA. - Some of us use the internet to see what's out there.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jul 23, 2020

    Related: If you buy a burger, I’ll tax the meat. If you get some bread, I’ll tax the wheat. If you like rap music, I’ll tax the beat. If you troll somebody, I’ll tax the tweet. If you buy a drink, I'll tax the mug If you get a dog, I'll tax your pug If you drink some milk, I'll tax the jug. If you love your mom, I'll tax your hug

    • See 1 previous
    • Old_WRX Old_WRX on Jul 23, 2020

      @Inside Looking Out, Are you sure it's nice to tell someone they could win an election in California?:-)

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