Austria Also Slows Tauern, Another Problem for Italian Exports

At a time in history when global trade is hampered by an international crisis preventing maritime shipping through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, and the Panama Canal is struggling with an unprecedented drought, local transportation is also a puzzle for Italy.

From Austria, following heavy traffic restrictions on the Brenner Pass (the route connecting Alto Adige in Italy and Tyrol in Austria), routes are also being restricted on the A10 Tauern highway, which further east connects Tarvisio and Salzburg. In this case, it is a unilateral decision that once again affects the transportation and transfer route connecting Italy and Germany via Austria.

The blow is particularly hard on Italy, which has long had difficulties on the Alpine routes connecting it to France, first because of the landslide in Frejus and then because of the two-month stoppage of the Mont Blanc tunnel for construction work. A shutdown that will repeat from October through December for the next 20 years.

In connection with the Brenner consolidated blockade, the Italian government even asked the European Commission to initiate infringement proceedings against Austria. A new source of tension is now emerging. In the latter case, the blockage is related to works affecting an important artery connecting Central Europe with Southeastern Europe (Italy, in particular its northeast, but also Slovenia) and includes two days off, concerning only trucks with foreign license plates, while Austrian traffic can move freely.

Numerous European road haulage and logistics associations have sent a letter to Adina Valean, European Commissioner for Transport, and Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, identifying these new bans, which were announced without prior notice, as discriminatory.

Among them is the Italian Federation of Professional Road Haulers (FIAP), whose secretary general Alessandro Peron explained: “The decision taken by Austria is completely discriminatory and leads to a gradual increase in transit bans through Austrian territory. And Austrian Minister Gewessler’s intention may have been precisely to turn the interim regulation (it expires on March 29 – ed.) into a definitive scenario justified by environmental and public health goals that are improperly framed and arbitrary. A scenario that, given known constraints, becomes increasingly critical and unacceptable, causing significant economic damage. The letter demonstrates the validity of the lawsuit initiated by Minister Salvini and the Italian government against the Austrian bans at the Court of Justice of the EU.”