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Despite many scandals, the federal Minister of Transport wants to recharge the truck toll from private companies. An opinion now provides arguments against it.

Truck Toll: On the wrong Track

Despite many scandals, the federal Minister of Transport wants to recharge the truck toll from private companies. An opinion now provides arguments against it.

Truck Toll: On the wrong Track
Content
  • Page 1 — on wrong track
  • Page 2 — What are key factors?
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    For weeks, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Andreas Scheuer (CSU) has tried to withdraw a debate on toll. Because it comes to him for time being. By end of year, he wants to agree with a private group about future operation of toll and an associated billion-dollar contract – with exclusion of public.

    In August, when new accusations against his ministry and truck toll came up, he tried to keep a quiet start, n his staff fed some journalists with one-sided information, and finally Ministry published Secret documents. You should prove that scouring toll makes everything right. But it didn't use anything. The Transport Committee of Bundestag asked Minister for a special meeting last Tuesday, and so in morning at eight o'clock in meeting room E 600 in Paul Löbe House. There he led for ten minutes why German toll was " best system in world".

    The meeting was also triggered by research of time, time online and ARD magazine Panorama (see Time No. 33/18, "a cartel against taxpayers", and No. 35/18, "at full throttle into next debacle?"). Documents available to participating media show how toll collect has submitted unauthorised items to confederation in past few years, including sponsorship of a classic car rally and a stay of managers in A luxury hotel. The accusation of attempted fraud is also in room. The traffic expert of left, Jörg Cezanne, calls events "unspeakably".

    Rub wiped that aside on Tuesday. His ministry had paid "no euro too much".

    However, longer special session of Transport Committee took on Tuesday, it became clearer that revelations about past have changed view of future of toll. First MEPs fear that toll could be an example of pointless privatization of public infrastructure. "The state can operate current toll system more economically than a private company", transport policy spokesman of Greens in Bundestag, Stephan Kühn, is now convinced.

    This sentence has a history: 16 years ago, federal government had signed a contract with Deutsche Telekom and or corporations. You should build a toll collect system and operate for years. It was technical new territory, a huge project. The costs of operation should be reimbursed by Confederation and pay a full return. In return, federal government received toll. After end of treaty, system would pass to Confederation, and so it has happened. Since September 1st, toll collect belongs to state.

    This article comes from time No. 38/2018. Here you can read entire output.

    But this public-private partnership was not peaceful. The toll started two years later as agreed, and refore re was a dispute that partners wanted to resolve in an out-of-court arbitration – which failed. It took over 14 years, devoured almost half a billion euros and destroyed as much confidence.

    After this experience, first leading politician of coalition partner SPD von Scheuer is now also moving away. Sebastian Hartmann, head of important State Association of North Rhine-Westphalia, says that he has "doubts about re-privatisation of toll operator". The state "can now charge toll in its own direction and reliably." Hartmann has been a member of Transport Committee in Bundestag since 2013 and knows details of toll.

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