Although the EU Commission has made peace with the car toll, criticism from Austria continues. Chancellor Kern spoke of a "stress test for good German-Austrian relations". Criticism also comes from the Federal Audit Office.
While the EU Commission has made peace with the German car toll, criticism from Austria’s neighbors continues. The alpine state is considering an appeal to the European Court of Justice. The concerns of German politicians are not fading either.
"We are very unhappy about it in Austria," said Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern of "Bild am Sonntag". "This is a stress test for good German-Austrian relations." He particularly criticized the fact that Germans were relieved of the toll to compensate for the toll. "A toll for foreigners weakens solidarity in Europe," criticized Kern. In Austria everyone pays a toll – regardless of their birth certificate.
Dobrindt railed against "Mautmaulerei"
Federal Minister of Transport Dobrindt showed "little understanding for the toll Maulerei" from abroad. "Especially not if it comes from Austria," said the CSU politician of the "Suddeutsche Zeitung". With the introduction of the toll, Austria relieved its own motorists considerably, in particular through the commuter flat rate. Anyone coming to Austria should pay – "but Austrians should be allowed to drive for free in Germany," criticized Dobrindt. "This way of thinking is neither European nor appropriate."
The left-wing traffic politician Herbert Behrens then accused Dobrindt of regulars. "With these resentment-laden slogans, the German Chancellor must intervene and whistle the minister back."
The car toll pays off?
After months of struggle, Germany and the EU Commission had found a compromise on the car toll. Austria and the Netherlands are still considering filing a lawsuit against the project at the European Court of Justice.
It is also controversial how high the income from the planned levy will be. "The revenue forecast is associated with considerable risks," said Court of Auditors Kay Scheller to the newspapers of the Funke media group. The Federal Audit Office sees the effort for the control of the toll collection critical. "We also doubt the planned launch date in 2018."
Greens parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter warned: "The toll runs the risk of costing the state more money than it brings in." Dobrindt held against it: "The revenue forecast is solid and calculated conservatively." The car toll brings income of 3.7 billion euros a year, which will be available for investment in the infrastructure in the future.