Germany consider privatization of motorway network

Germany consider privatization of the highways in the country, trying to develop more efficient road network. The Ministry of Finance is negotiating the possibility for selling a 50% share of highways to private investors and collected funds to be invested into new projects.

The highway network in Germany has a total length of about 13,000 km and is the second largest in the world after the United States. The ownership of the motorway network is divided equally between the federal government and the provinces. The Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is exploring the possibility of selling part of the state share, the government keep a controlling stake.

It is not clear what funds would bring such a deal to the Treasury in Germany. Only tolls for trucks contribute with 4 billion EUR per year to the federal government.

The ministry believes that insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors seeking higher returns because of the prolonged period of low interest rates, would be interested in such an investment.

Members of parliament of Germany revealed that Schaeuble so far has provided only general idea during a meeting of the budget committee last week. The idea of privatization of the motorway network of Germany is not new and periodically brushed the dust. However, the possible sale will certainly wait for the national elections that will take place at the end of 2017.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is the leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party, which shares power with the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, does not approve the idea. A spokesman of Gabriel denied prepares privatization of road or highway operators.

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