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Parliamentary questions
25 February 2004
Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

Directive 1999/62/EC(1) covers the levying of taxes, tolls and user charges on lorries of 12 tonnes and more. Member States levying tolls on vehicles below 12 tonnes, including private cars, do not have to comply with the provisions contained in Directive 1999/62/EC.

In addition, the Directive does not concern the introduction of specific urban traffic charges nor regulatory charges specifically designed to combat time and place-related traffic congestion. The Attica motorway is an urban motorway with the aim of linking settlements in the Attica Basin in order to contribute to traffic decongestion in the capital area. The imposition of a flat rate toll does not infringe the provisions of the Directive.

According to the information provided to the Commission by the Greek Authorities, the amount of the toll is related to the cost of construction and operation of the motorway by the contractor, which was chosen after a public tender procedure. It should also be noted that the concession period when the contractor will apply the tolls is limited to 23 years and the maximum toll for passenger cars has been determined at € 1,56 in June 1994 prices. After inflation, this equates today to a maximum toll of around € 3 (including VAT).

The European Investment Bank has approved a loan of € 645 million to the concessionnaire of Attiki Odos.This loan is used by the concessionnaire as the private sector contribution to the project defined by the concession contract.

The Trans-European Network (TEN) budget of the European Union has co-financed the studies of “Attiki Odos”to a total amount of € 34 million.

The Regional Operational Programmes 1989-1993 and 1994-1999 for Attika have contributed a total amount of 53 million € of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to Attiki Odos.The Operational Programme “Road Axes 1994-1999” has co-financed Attiki Odos with € 135 million of the ERDF.

An application has been received by the Commission from the Greek Authorities requesting the confirmation of the co-financing of Attiki Odos by the ERDF under the Operational Programme “Road Axes, Ports,Urban Development 2000-2006”. The Commission is currently examining this application.

(1) Directive 1999/62/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructure, OJ L 187, 20.7.1999

Last updated: 23 April 2004Legal notice