Germany wants ex-minister to pay in €243m highway-toll “mistake”

The proposed toll system was ruled illegal by the EU (Rl91/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The German government is considering whether it can force a former transport minister to pay at least part of the €243m bill for a failed plan to introduce highway tolls, the AP news agency reports.

Andreas Scheuer, who held the transport portfolio between 2018 and 2021, insisted on the tolls despite warnings that it would unfairly penalise drivers from other EU countries.

An EU court ruled it illegal in 2019, which led last week to a €243m arbitration award to the companies hired to set up and operate the system.

Volker Wissing, the present transport minister, told German weekly Bild am Sonntag that taxpayers should not have to bear the full cost of “this serious political mistake”.

“We will look [at] the legal situation very closely and carefully examine whether and to what amount compensation claims are possible,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Scheuer is a member of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union, which is part of the biggest opposition bloc in Germany’s federal parliament.

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