The debate of liberty vs. pollution. An Austrian case

The Alps are really a beautiful spot right in the middle of Europe. They are also spread among several countries, like France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtestein, Germany and Austria which made necessary the deployment of transport infrastructure crossing the mountains. However, the environment protection for such a delicate spot is a very tough question. For instance, Switzerland (a country that does not belong to the EU) banned heavy trucks from crossing the country and they have to be loaded onto train wagons to travel from France to Germany.

The case now is the Tirol regional government, in Austria, that has banned old and polluting heavy trucks (and those carrying certain "dirty" loads) from driving through a stretch of the A-12 highway between Munich (Germany) to Innsbruck (Austria). This is a key road because the A-12 the spine of the road communications between Italy and Germany.

Nevertheless the European Union has said no to the Tirolese government. In words of Jacques Barrot, Vicepresident of the European Transport Comission, "The Comission is aware of the difficulties Alpine countries have to protect the environment and their citizens' health. However, such a limitation on traffic is not compatible with the European legislation." He also asked the government to work on improving all vehicle emissions, because the problem is not limited to heavy trucks on a certain stretch of road, but the pollutants that hundreds of thousands of heavy trucks emit in Europe on a daily basis.

(The photo shows the village of Lermoos, in Tirol, Austria)


[Source: Agencies via Moteurnature]

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