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(Wall Street Journal)   Toll-free Germany looks to have their roads subsidized by a number of Czechs   (blogs.wsj.com) divider line 28
    More: Obvious, Czech Republic, adriatic sea, European law, toll roads, habits, highways, Angela Merkel  
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1158 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Nov 2013 at 8:34 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



28 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-30 08:45:30 AM  
That is queerer than Jesus on a good day.

Rock on Merkel you old lesbo.
 
2013-11-30 08:46:42 AM  
So Germany is going from the only country with toll free roads in Central Europe to being the only country that tolls highways and gives some of that toll money back to it's own citizens in the form of tax credits/reduced registration levies?

Meh, I can see why some may be a little miffed at the move but I can understand the German's thinking here as well.
 
2013-11-30 08:50:01 AM  
1. Gasoline costs about $8 per gallon in Germany.
2. Highway driving burns 2+ gallons per hour.
3. A route that is one hour shorter saves you $16 in addition to saving the hour...
4. Therefore, the tolls would have to be really REALLY high before it makes sense for the cheapskates to go the long way around.
 
2013-11-30 08:54:20 AM  
Hey German Prime Minister Chancellor Lady .... you look tense... how about a nice shoulder rub?

www.huffingtonpost.com
www.taylormarsh.com
 
2013-11-30 09:02:38 AM  
A man is walking down a city street. A Czech jumps out a window above him, lands on an awning, then bounces into the street. He survives, but the first man is arrested for passing a bouncing Czech.
 
2013-11-30 09:06:35 AM  
If german taxes are already paying for the roads I don't have a problem with them not having to pay tolls.
 
2013-11-30 09:16:35 AM  

TheWhoppah: 1. Gasoline costs about $8 per gallon in Germany.
2. Highway driving burns 2+ gallons per hour.
3. A route that is one hour shorter saves you $16 in addition to saving the hour...
4. Therefore, the tolls would have to be really REALLY high before it makes sense for the cheapskates to go the long way around.



By that logic, they should then drive the Swiss or Austrian highways which already have annual (sometimes monthly or weekly) time tolls before the Italian Autostrade which is distance tolled.
 
2013-11-30 09:18:33 AM  
I think Pixar's Cars demonstrated very well what happens to little towns when large highways are built past them. People stop stopping for a spell and just drive through as if the town isn't there.

Forcing people off the highways and into the local, historic, and scenic byways is a good way to let people truly enjoy the country in an up close and personal way.
 
2013-11-30 09:27:00 AM  

TheWhoppah: 1. Gasoline costs about $8 per gallon in Germany.
2. Highway driving burns 2+ gallons per hour.
3. A route that is one hour shorter saves you $16 in addition to saving the hour...
4. Therefore, the tolls would have to be really REALLY high before it makes sense for the cheapskates to go the long way around.


The Czechs are balkan at the principle of Germans plundering EU citizens for infrastructure costs.  Remitting tolls to Germans is the equivalent of selective taxation and essentially a tariff, which I thought the EU was intended to eliminate.

Czechs may bypass Bavaria and if Munich surrenders tourist dollars, it serbs them right.
 
2013-11-30 09:27:39 AM  
How the fark does this make the WSJ?!?
 
2013-11-30 10:02:00 AM  
impossible
germany?
 
2013-11-30 10:03:45 AM  
How the fark does it make FARK ??
 
2013-11-30 10:30:25 AM  
Hopefully this solution to Germany's highway problems will have some finality.
 
2013-11-30 10:33:43 AM  
Some additional things to that article:

The idea for the toll was brought up by the Bavarian CDU appendix CSU. It won them an election in September. Because Bavarians, especially in the southern part, have some genetical condition that leaves them permanently pissed off by Austria. Where they have to pay a toll.

Then there's that EU thing, called equal treatment. There is no absolutely no way to collect a toll or entrance fee for foreign cars. Which would mean maybe a refund for German car owners via taxes, which are quite uneven over here.
Might only blow up general expenses, too. The Bavarian beer tent ayatollahs are in a win-win. Because they will eventually blame the EU.

The ADAC, the powerful German drivers club, strictly opposes any tolls for cars. Its calculation seems more plausible than the one commisioned by the CSU, which happened to be made my a company that, you guess it, collects tolls. Fire departments and rescue services (which are strongly voluntary in rural areas) are not too enthusiastic about that idea, either.

Oh, and this one: "As far as I'm concerned, there will no be car toll for German highways." Angela Merkel, September 2013. The attempts to put that into perspective by government speakers were hilari embarrassing.
 
2013-11-30 10:57:20 AM  

TheWhoppah: 1. Gasoline costs about $8 per gallon in Germany.
2. Highway driving burns 2+ gallons per hour.
3. A route that is one hour shorter saves you $16 in addition to saving the hour...
4. Therefore, the tolls would have to be really REALLY high before it makes sense for the cheapskates to go the long way around.


implying that humans practice rational self interest.
 
2013-11-30 11:00:00 AM  

TheWhoppah: 1. Gasoline costs about $8 per gallon in Germany.
2. Highway driving burns 2+ gallons per hour.
3. A route that is one hour shorter saves you $16 in addition to saving the hour...
4. Therefore, the tolls would have to be really REALLY high before it makes sense for the cheapskates to go the long way around.


A lot of krauts get cars and gas from their company (at least I did and all my white collared friends do), so the cost of gas is largely irrelevant to a section of the population (I think around a 3rd of car sales in germany are company cars).
 
2013-11-30 11:46:29 AM  
Why the weird focus on the Czechs?  I live on the French border and sometimes go via Germany, though the part of France I live in particulary doesn't have tolls.  Then there's the Dutch...I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Belgians, I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Luxembourgois...there's a bunch of countries that border Germany...is it only the Czechs that are pissed-off by this?  More likely the author saw an article from some Czech source on the web and just cranked out some column inches as click-bait.

The Swiss, because they are Swiss, force you to buy your annual motorway tag right at the border crossing.  But, the bastards don't pro-rate it...if you buy it January 1st, it's 40CHF...if you buy it December 31st, it's 40CHF...then again, their highways are immaculately maintained, and the multitude of tunnels is very impressive, and must be very costly to build and maintain, so it's cool.
 
2013-11-30 11:49:41 AM  
lilplatinum:  (I think around a 3rd of car sales in germany are company cars).

Almost two thirds are (varying from 58 to 65%, depending on season. And they're heavily subsidized by taxpayers, around 5.5 billion €, almost seven times the amount a proposed toll would earn. Should fix a couple of potholes instead of ticking off foreign tourists.

If you really want to learn about the creativity of Germans, you should read tax return forms involving company cars.
 
2013-11-30 12:26:18 PM  
No one has yet mentioned who built the Autobahns...
 
2013-11-30 01:01:31 PM  

ultraholland: Hopefully this solution to Germany's highway problems will have some finality.


Nein!  The driver pays for the car, but what about the deadbeat passengers (Untermenschenkeinegrassgasassgehriden)?!  There will not be finality until every person in the vehicle has an RFID chip implanted and are billed every time they pass a toll station.
 
2013-11-30 01:17:10 PM  
All I can say is that the driving on the Autobahn was my happiest driving experience ever. Drivers that know what they're doing - no one hogs the passing lane. Even tho my rental car was "just" an Audi diesel (which was really excellent), it was an incredible experience.
 
2013-11-30 01:25:38 PM  
As a fan of Euro Truck Sim 2 with many garages around Germany, I am not amused by this.
 
2013-11-30 01:35:37 PM  

jonnyh: All I can say is that the driving on the Autobahn was my happiest driving experience ever. Drivers that know what they're doing - no one hogs the passing lane. Even tho my rental car was "just" an Audi diesel (which was really excellent), it was an incredible experience.


Wish people in the USA drove like that....

/ OTOH, if we adopted Western European standards regarding drivers licences, millions of Americans probably couldn't pass the test to get one...
 
2013-11-30 02:35:38 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Wish people in the USA drove like that....

/ OTOH, if we adopted Western European standards regarding drivers licences, millions of Americans probably couldn't pass the test to get one...


Wouldn't matter. Americans really take the notion of "it's a free country" to some extremes. No matter how hard you make it to drive here, people are still going to act like a-holes in their cars.

/proud American
//still embarrassed by American drivers
 
2013-11-30 02:49:24 PM  

jonnyh: All I can say is that the driving on the Autobahn was my happiest driving experience ever. Drivers that know what they're doing - no one hogs the passing lane. Even tho my rental car was "just" an Audi diesel (which was really excellent), it was an incredible experience.


I do it with some frequency.  Unfortunately the lack of tolls means that the roads are often loaded with East-Bloc truckers in lines by the dozen doing 90km/h.  Believe it or not, there can be traffic jams on a road with no limit!

/Where I typically cross into Germany on the way to FRA, there's a few km at 130km/h...when it comes off, the cars passing the sign take-off.  It's like watching the stars in front of the Millenium Falcon!
 
2013-11-30 03:30:35 PM  

stanhapsburg: Almost two thirds are (varying from 58 to 65%, depending on season. And they're heavily subsidized by taxpayers, around 5.5 billion €, almost seven times the amount a proposed toll would earn. Should fix a couple of potholes instead of ticking off foreign tourists.

If you really want to learn about the creativity of Germans, you should read tax return forms involving company cars.


I never prepared my own (no matter how much german you learn german tax returns are a thing to be avoided), but I did laugh when looking at that portion of my prepared returns.
 
2013-11-30 04:54:48 PM  

KWess: Why the weird focus on the Czechs?  I live on the French border and sometimes go via Germany, though the part of France I live in particulary doesn't have tolls.  Then there's the Dutch...I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Belgians, I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Luxembourgois...there's a bunch of countries that border Germany...is it only the Czechs that are pissed-off by this?  More likely the author saw an article from some Czech source on the web and just cranked out some column inches as click-bait.


So you're saying there's a mix?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-11-30 06:19:43 PM  

LordOfThePings: KWess: Why the weird focus on the Czechs?  I live on the French border and sometimes go via Germany, though the part of France I live in particulary doesn't have tolls.  Then there's the Dutch...I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Belgians, I can't remember paying a toll there, and the Luxembourgois...there's a bunch of countries that border Germany...is it only the Czechs that are pissed-off by this?  More likely the author saw an article from some Czech source on the web and just cranked out some column inches as click-bait.

So you're saying there's a mix?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 250x192]



That's awesome.
 
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