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EU launches legal proceedings against German road toll

The EU Commission has launched legal proceedings against Germany for its plans to introduce a controversial road toll. Germany's transport minister insists the scheme is sound.

As part of the legal challenge, Germany will be sent a reminder letter by Brussels, Jakub Adamowicz, EU Transport Commissioner spokesman announced on Thursday.

Germany then has eight weeks to reply. If the two sides cannot agree, the matter case goes all the way to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The legal proceedings mean that the Commission believes the planned road toll scheme is against EU law as it would only charge foreigners and motorists whose vehicles are not registered in Germany.

"A toll system can only be compliant with European law if it respects the fundamental treaty principle of non-discrimination," European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement.

"We have serious doubts that this is the case in the final text of the relevant German laws. We are now acting swiftly to clarify these doubts through an infringement procedure in the interest of EU citizens," she continued.

Scheme delayed

Earlier on Thursday, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, who is from Germany's conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party, announced he is to delay the introduction of a road toll scheme that

Dobrindt told German daily "Bild" that Germany would "adhere to the rule of law and await a court decision." He was referring to the European Commission's plans to launch legal proceedings against Germany. An announcement to that effect is expected as early as Thursday.

ng/jil (dpa, AFP)

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