Dutch Govt Protests German ‘Foreigner Toll’ – Trabi Safari

TODAY: the Dutch government is to formally protest the upcoming German ‘foreigner toll’.

Also, driving around Berlin in a vintage Trabant. Estonia’s borders to be temporarily reintroduced this weekend. A good year so far for DFDS on the Dover Strait. e-Call delayed.

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DUTCH GOVT PROTESTS GERMAN ‘FOREIGNER TOLL’

No let up in campaign against the toll ahead of the new Commission announced next month.

Germany: currently only trucks pay to use Germany roads, and then only motorways. The new 'foreigner toll (maut)' for cars applies to all German roads.

Germany: currently only trucks pay to drive in Germany roads, and then only motorways. The new ‘foreigner toll (maut)’ for cars applies to all roads.

The Dutch government will formally complain to the European Commission over the upcoming German ‘foreigner toll’.

The toll, due in January 2016, will apply to all drivers but German nationals will have the charge rebated via discounted on road taxes.

Dutch transport minister Melania Schultz told parliament on Wednesday, ‘I will ask the Transport Commissioner (currently Siim Kallas) to look into whether this plan conforms with EU law.’

She said she has also held meetings on the issue with Danish, Austrian and Polish colleagues.

Last month the Austrians said they would also take legal action over the toll on the grounds it is discriminatory. However, it is understood cases can only be brought after the legislation has been passed by the German parliament and the new law is in operation.

Meanwhile, Dutch motoring club ANWB will present its 42,000 signature petition against the toll to the European Commission on Tuesday.

Much could depend on the identity of the next Transport Commissioner, due to be announced by mid-September. A Commissioner from Germany’s border countries could force the EU to take a harder line.

@DriveEurope was told by a Brussels’ insider recently that the post is yet to be earmarked, and might not be known until 24 hours before the nominations are made public.

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Trabi Safari in Berlin. More later. Photo Trabi-Safari.de

Trabi Safari: drive a Trabant through Berlin on organised tours of the major sights. Three to choose from: city centre and west, tracing the path of the Berlin Wall, or around the east. Duration 1h10-2h10, price €34-89 per person. See trabi-safari.de for more. Photo: Unter den Linden.

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roundup: ESTONIA. Border controls will be temporarily reintroduced 31 August – 2 September month during the visit of US President Barack Obama, and the number of open crossing points reduced. See more here. FERRIES. Despite all the doom and gloom about excess capacity and unfair competition from Eurotunnel/MyFerryLink, new financial results from DFDS show the firm has significantly grown its business across the Dover Strait: freight volumes jumped by 7.6% – mainly on the Dover-Dunkirk route – and passenger volumes by 16.5% in the first half of 2014. It’s been a good year so far all round for the Danish operator with revenues up 8% in total and profit before tax up by a whopping 143%. eCALL. As we expected, the eCall device, which automatically summons emergency services after a crash, has been postponed for at least another two years, until 2017/18. It was to be mandatory in all news cars next year.

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GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: quiet overnight. Max 1h40 at 18:30.

CALAIS MIGRANT CRISIS PETITION: 3,270 signatures since 15.7. See @Justice4Trucker. 

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