- Dec 9, 2013
Germany may charge foreigners an Autobahn toll [w/poll]
The issue in question revolves around placing a toll on the Autobahn, but one that would only apply to foreign citizens driving in Germany. And make no mistake about it, there are a lot of them. Germany has 2,330 miles of border with nine different countries, the residents of which often use the Autobahn – one of the first and most extensive networks of highways in Europe – to get around.
Germany is subsequently left footing the bill for infrastructure used by foreign residents who don't pay the taxes to keep it up, which is why it's now working to implement a toll on the highways. The plan is part of a coalition agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and the Social Democrats with which she's working to form a government. While the exact logistics of its implementation still have to be worked out, the toll would apply to non-Germans while German citizens would be exempt.
The plan is drawing sharp criticism from within Germany and from without. The transport minister of neighboring Austria, an estimated 1.8 million of which use Germany's Autobahns regularly, is threatening to take Germany to the European Court of Justice over the matter. Meanwhile German auto club ADAC says the measure wouldn't even be enough to cover the cost of maintaining the infrastructure, raising questions as to its point.