"Maximum possible transparency", Andreas Scheuer has promised for the processing of the failed car toll.Thus the CSU Transport Minister wants to defend against the charge that he had already commissioned companies with the implementation of the toll when it was not yet clear if she is right.
At first, Scheuer seemed to stick to his promise of transparency: he put contracts online and transferred files to the Transport Committee in the Bundestag. But does he really have nothing to hide? Recent developments give rise to doubts.
Scheuer concealed the opposition in the Bundestag according to five meetings with the companies CTS Eventim and Kapsch TrafficCom, which should implement the toll. In three of them, he himself should have been there, with a Chancellery head Helge Braun (CDU). Already two weeks ago, two undocumented meetings had been reported. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport has published a list of the meetings, on Twitter with the hashtag #nixgeheim. Scheuer is still not aware of any guilt.
As always, the #BMVI provided transparent information on a parliamentary inquiry. Content: the chronological sequence of meetings to implement the infrastructure tax.
The entire answer on our website: https://t.co/ExrtvNMzhz#ful Transparency https://t.co/7txMuPhlWG
However, the meetings are not just explosive because the Ministry of Transport apparently did not disclose them, despite the promise of transparency: The opposition would like to know that the toll companies offered Scheuer at least once to wait with the signature. And that until after the judgment of the European Court of Justice on the lawfulness of the toll.
No consideration for risks
Whether the companies actually made this offer and Scheuer turned it down is open. It is clear that even without such an offer, the Ministry could have waited to sign the treaties. Scheuer would have been able to save the federal government and thus the taxpayers the money that will now possibly flow as compensation to the companies.
There is much to suggest that Scheuer wanted to introduce a car toll as quickly as possible without taking risks into consideration. Because the toll was the big promise that the CSU had made their voters in Bavaria: If you have to pay in Austria for the use of the highways, then the Austrians must also beiuns.
But the idea that developed the CSU, was from the beginning a pseudo solution: Instead of all car drivers in Germany make their contribution, should pay only the foreigners. In addition, the CSU apparently wanted the toll to take effect before the 2021 election. That probably explains why it was so urgent for people to sign the contracts just before the end of the year on December 30, 2018.
Can the Minister of Transport hold office?
The Minister of Transport could now have been embarrassed three times with a single project: wanting to convert the foreigner toll was meaningless from the start. Signing the contracts without waiting for the ECJ ruling was at least naive. And he obviously did not keep his transparency promise.
Scheuer does not have to be surprised that the Greens call him to resign. Ministers have already made minor mistakes, for example in their doctoral theses. And now even the Federal Court of Audit proposes to the Ministry of Transport not to comply with anti-corruption regulations.
The opposition in the Bundestag willingly use a commission on car tolls, perhaps next week. Should there be more explosive information known, the voices calling for his dismissal will be even louder.