Daily Brief 13 August 2013

Last updated 18:30 BST.

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Channel delays: 2hrs Eurotunnel Freight UK.

Weather alerts: Austria, Slovenia, Montenegro, Serbia.

Weather: mixed north; hot+sunny south.

Traffic: see @DE_Traffic.

Notes: Condor.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

News: Italy fuel fraud – Turkey toll worsens – Germany ponders road charging – Thumbs up Liber-T – Ireland crash concerns – Athens parking chaos – Norway taxi scam.

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Guardia di Finanza officers on a raid in Palermo.

Guardia di Finanza officers on a raid in Palermo.

Italy – a nationwide swoop on 1,216 filling stations saw 174 irregularities discovered. In one case, fuel samples taken in Naples saw 15% contamination with water. The scam was discovered after cars broke down soon after re-fuelling according to a statement from the Guardia di Finanza. The garage had another 20,000 litres of doctored fuel ready to sell. Another garage altered the flow meters and diverted 1.2m litres of fuel to the black market. An outlet in Regio Emilia in the north of the country set its pumps to over-read by 10%. In all eleven arrests were made, fifty nine pumps were seized and another 78 managers cited for price manipulation or tampering with equipment. GdF did not say what kind of petrol stations these were – urban, rural or mainstream brands, nor how customers could tell if fuel was diluted, or worse. It makes you wonder how many other countries suffer this problem..

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Turkey – even worse news than feared yesterday. The latest figures show in fact 86 people were killed over the three day Eid holiday this weekend and an incredible 4,711 injured, in 2,199 separate accidents.

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France road tolls – the increasingly popular Liber-T automatic toll tag – used by 20,000 UK motorists even before this summer – gets the thumbs up from DriveEurope follower, and Mini-lover, Roberta Howell, @bobbiejaneh. She says, ‘Can really recommend the liber-t tag if you are driving in France life was so much easier driving past the queues for the tollbooth.’ Make sure the batteries are fresh though. McLaren press officer @DaveEden tweeted this week, ‘Arriving at the first of many busy French toll booths with a tele-peage tag that might have run out of battery #nervous.’ You have been warned.

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Motoring journalist Chris Harris - pistonheads.com, @Drive - shoehorns his recently purchased Ferrari Testarossa onto the Eurostar.

Journalist Chris Harris – www.pistonheads.com, @Drive – shoehorns his recently purchased Ferrari 512TR ‘Testarossa’ onto the Eurostar last night. Sigh. Photo via @HarrisMonkey

Read more about this g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s car here.

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Germany – more fallout from the Bavarian president’s plan to charge foreign cars to drive on the southern state’s roads. Tolls are being considered nationwide to tackle long term underinvestment in transport infrastructure. Half the country’s bridges, 20% of the autobahns and 40% of federal highways are in need of repair says public broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Meanwhile, there’s a sophisticated electronic toll system for trucks already in place.

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Republic of Ireland – like their counterparts in Luxembourg, Irish police are concerned by an increase in road fatalities this year: 119 so far compared to 111 in the same period in 2012. ‘Excessive or inappropriate speed’ is said to be a common factor.

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Athens – with the municipal police force suffering severe cuts in the austerity – over 1,000 laid off – traffic police are now fielding over 1,000 calls per day from irate residents over illegal parking says ekathimerini.com. The city previously prided itself for orderly parking.

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Norway – it turns out PM Jens Stoltenberg’s man-of-the-people act – he did a shift as a taxi driver to find out what real people thought – ‘you’re a terrible driver,’ said one – was faked. Half of them were paid. Normal people don’t take taxis anyway.

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Russia – the existing emergency telephone numbers – 01 police, 02 ambulance, 03 fire – will be augmented by 112 in all major cities by the end of 2013, bringing the country into line with the rest of Europe.

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