EU Commission chief says Brussels has 'significant doubts' German car toll in line with EU law

BERLIN – The head of the European Union’s executive Commission says it has “significant doubts” as to whether Germany’s plan for a highway car toll to raise money from foreign drivers complies with EU law.

Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview with German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung published Monday that the Commission will have to open formal proceedings to examine the issue.

Germany’s parliament in May approved the toll plan, a much-criticized pet project of the smallest party in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition.

The plan calls for all road users to pay the toll starting in 2016, but German car owners will be compensated by an equivalent cut in a separate car tax. Germany’s transport minister has said it will raise 500 million euros ($550 million) annually.