• Controversy Tolls yes or tolls no: Will we have to pay in Spain for the use of roads?

The European Commission has admitted on Thursday that it has made "positive progress" in its evaluation of the revised recovery plan sent by Spain in June and which includes the withdrawal of tolls that the Government had committed to establish on highways from 2024.

According to El País, Spain requested changes with respect to this milestone, number 3 of the plan, in the addendum to the plan, and the Commission is now evaluating it in its entirety "including the required modification of this measure," as confirmed by EFE.

"Positive progress has been made and constructive discussions with the Spanish authorities are underway with a view to finalizing the analysis as soon as possible," said Economy spokeswoman Veerle Nuyts, who indicated that Brussels will communicate the conclusion of its examination "as soon as it reaches this point."

This same Tuesday, the Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda in functions, Raquel Sánchez, declared herself "optimistic" about the European Commission accepting the "alternative proposals" that the Government has raised to not introduce tolls on highways. These "alternative proposals", he told the media at the headquarters of the European Parliament, include measures "in line with reinforcing others that have already been applied", such as "encouraging rail transport" or public transport.

"The conditions that existed at the time of proposing this measure are not the same as today," argued the head of Transport.

The commitment of tolls is contained in the Spanish recovery plan within milestone number 3, according to which Spain must create "a payment mechanism for the use of State roads, which will begin to operate from 2024, in accordance with the polluter pays principle", as read in the plan document.

This milestone is linked, in particular, to the payment of the sixth tranche of the recovery fund, for which Spain would receive 8,000 million euros in direct aid next year.

The Government sent the addendum to the recovery plan to Brussels on June 6 and had a period of three months to evaluate it (two initial months and an extension of one month for the summer to be within the period), but for now it has not published its conclusion.

Spain will gain access to the 84,000 million euros it has allocated in the form of credit and another 10,000 million in direct aid once the revision of the plan receives the green light from the Commission and then is approved by the rest of the Member States.

  • European Commission
  • European Parliament