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German road toll plan approved

Germany's plan for a car toll on major routes to raise money from foreign drivers has cleared its final parliamentary hurdle.

Parliament's upper house approved the much-criticised project, which the smallest party in chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition insisted on pushing through.

All road users will pay the toll from next year, but German car owners will be compensated by an equivalent cut in a separate car tax.

Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has said the plan will raise 500 million euros (£360 million) annually.

It is a watered-down version of a plan that originally proposed a toll for all roads.

Unlike many European countries, Germany has not so far introduced any road tolls. It remains to be seen whether the plan will run into trouble with the European Union.

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