Highway Tolls

Dead on Arrival

toll station - rio antirio patra greece
Achtung, toll! Who must pay what, and where?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The German government could miss billions of euro in toll proceeds due to a competition complaint, which would hit the federal government’s budget plans.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The German government plans to spend €260 billion on transportation routes by 2030.
    • The toll system is projected to generate fewer revenues than expected.
    • A contract awarded to toll operator Toll Collect and worth €200-300 million has come under scrutiny.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

To mark the beginning of budget negotiations, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, a member of the center-right Christian Democratic Union, had a clear message for his fellow cabinet members: The country could face paralysis unless everyone tightens his belt.

The federal government aims to invest in infrastructure to “strengthen the robustness of growth,” but this can only occur with new sources of income, in Mr. Schäuble’s view. His solution is to collect the money needed from road tolls, to avoid shaving off money from the budget elsewhere.

Still, there is potential trouble ahead. Now that opposition from the European Commission has deprived Germany of half a billion euros in anticipated revenues from a toll on foreign drivers, the government could see a shortfall of another €2 billion ($2.24 billion) starting in July 2018 – money the coalition government had hoped to raised by charging a toll for trucks on all federal roads.

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