Dutch join Austria's lawsuit against German road toll plan

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Wednesday it is joining Austria's lawsuit against Germany at the European Court of Justice over plans for a road toll for foreign drivers.

The toll would apply to foreign-registered cars using German highways at a cost of up to 130 euros (£116.5) a year. German drivers will be able to recover the costs through tax deductions.

"At the heart of the Dutch objection is that the German toll plan is in violation of European rules," a statement said. The Dutch government "believes just as Austria does that the toll plans are discriminatory and violate the basic right to free movement."

The toll also will create an impediment to free trade, with 60-100 million euros in estimated annual costs for Dutch taxpayers, largely hurting people and businesses in the border region, the statement said.

The German parliament approved the road toll in March, but it is unlikely to come into effect before 2019, the year a ruling by the court is expected.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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