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EU commission 'planning to sue Germany over road toll': report

A German newspaper has reported that the European Commission will take legal action against Germany over its planned road toll. The report says the toll is considered to discriminate against foreigners.

In the report in its Saturday edition,, the "Welt" newspaper quoted sources from the Commission as saying that it would "initiate infringement proceedings against Germany because of the road toll, as it discriminates against foreign drivers and thus against EU law."

The sources said the proceedings at the European Court of Justice could begin before the summer break at the start of August, according to the report.

Germany's road toll, which was approved by the upper house of parliament, or Bundesrat, early this month, is scheduled to go into force next year.

Discriminatory measure?

The toll, known in German as the "Maut," would apply to German drivers on both highways ("Autobahnen") and major roads, and to foreign motorists only on the Autobahn.

However, German drivers would effectively pay nothing, as their regular motor vehicle tax would be reduced to compensate the toll.

This aspect has drawn criticism from Brussels, which says that the toll could contravene laws regarding the equal treatment of citizens of all EU countries.

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt from the Christian Social Union party, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, has been

the main driving force behind the planned toll,

which he claims could raise as much as 500 million euros ($545.4 million) in added annual revenue for the government.

This figure has, however, been questioned by many experts.

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