Work in Parliament Maria da Graça Carvalho questions the European Commission about charges in former SCUT

Questions to the Commission and the Council | 25-07-2019

Maria da Graça Carvalho sent a written question to the European Commission on Wednesday in which she warns of possible restrictions on freedom of movement in Portugal due to the way of charging adopted in some old SCUTs, namely in Via do Infante, in the Algarve.

“Portugal decided to implement an electronic toll system on some Portuguese highways (formerly SCUT), not having made available to European consumers adequate means and clear information on how this service works”, she said.

In the written question, with a request for an answer from the European Commission, it is stated that “there are several citizens, especially vulnerable consumers, tourists who do not speak Portuguese, and many Portuguese emigrants who enter the territory seasonally and end up facing fines and barriers which are unfair and discriminatory” vis-à-vis the principle of Freedom of Movement in the European space.

These constraints become particularly noticeable during the summer season, namely in the south of the country, where they contribute to long queues at border entrances. Maria da Graça Carvalho adds that these are aggravated by “insufficient payment methods and with disproportionate terms, after which the user incurs in disproportionate costs in relation to the tariff value”.

Graça Carvalho concludes by questioning the European Commission about what does it intend to do as “guardian of the acquis communautaire”, towards a situation that can be classified as “discriminatory”, as well as whether these systems could be considered “a block to the full realization of Freedom Circulation in the Internal Market”.

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