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Old October 8th, 2017, 09:32 PM   #37221
ChrisZwolle
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The severe restrictions on trucking in Switzerland has also pushed some north-south traffic to the Brenner. Tirol responded with higher tolls and more restrictions as well, but the problem simply is that Austria and Switzerland are sandwiched between two large countries; Germany with 81 million people, and Italy with 60 million people. Considering those figures, the amount of truck traffic across the Alps isn't even that high.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 09:44 PM   #37222
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Those 81+60 milion people living in Germany and Italy need the good produced in the other country. For environmentalists is simple to say "trucks are bad, ban them", but they don't realize that those trucks are carrying everything that they and their families need, from food to electronics, clothes or furniture. Having so many restrictions on this vital north-south link is somehow against the "free movement of people and goods" policy that the EU is strongly supporting. Plus it artificially increases the prices for any good transported on this route, making them less competitive.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 09:55 PM   #37223
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Some years ago Beppe Grillo, now a politician and founder of Movimento 5 Stelle party in Italy, was a stand-up comedian.
I remember watching a show where he said "America exports to Europe tot million tons of cookies. Europe exports to America the same tot million tons of cookies. These travels are expensive and polluting. Why don't everybody eat their own cookies?"
I laughed at the time. Now I see how short-sighted such a statement is.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:15 PM   #37224
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Let's all close our countries and consume only what can be locally produced, with local raw materials.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #37225
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Originally Posted by bogdymol View Post
Those 81+60 milion people living in Germany and Italy need the good produced in the other country. For environmentalists is simple to say "trucks are bad, ban them", but they don't realize that those trucks are carrying everything that they and their families need, from food to electronics, clothes or furniture. Having so many restrictions on this vital north-south link is somehow against the "free movement of people and goods" policy that the EU is strongly supporting. Plus it artificially increases the prices for any good transported on this route, making them less competitive.

Well, but for the people in Tyrol, such an argument doesn't explain anything - only a fraction of the trucks passing by daily is actually delivering goods for them. That even if you'd add in transit traffic that transports raw materials that might end up as final products in Tyrol.

So, to call on their understanding for the enormous amounts of trucks based on this argument seems asking a "bit" too much...


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After the Brenner Base Tunnel (the one posted by MichiH) will be completed, it would be interesting to have, for example, hourly RoLa trains though the tunnel, and to somehow encourage truck drivers to use it instead of driving across the Brenner motorway.

During the day, you actually have almost hourly services from Wörgl (close to the border to Germany) to just before the border on Brenner to Italy. To Trento, connections are much worse, so I think that indeed, there is room for improvement, and maybe not even much need to buy more rolling stock, it can't take (much) longer through the tunnel than it takes now up to the pass... If there is not enough capacity in the tunnel, at least there should then be enough capacity for slower but more frequent services over the pass.

But I still think that you need to make the road much more expensive (and not just the section in Tyrol, but also in Italy, which is not that expensive today, and a reason why Brenner is much cheaper than Switzerland), money seems still the best incentive..


If RoLa can be cheaper, AND offer a similar speed, than it might actually have a chance, also because it would allow truck drivers to take their obligatory break time during the transfer.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:50 PM   #37226
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But I still think that you need to make the road much more expensive (and not just the section in Tyrol, but also in Italy, which is not that expensive today, and a reason why Brenner is much cheaper than Switzerland), money seems still the best incentive..
Well, that would initiate a race to the top, and not in a positive way. If Tirol would significantly raise tolls on trucks, Switzerland will have to follow suit and maybe France-Italy as well for those tunnels. Where would that end? It's already a € 300 toll bill to travel through Switzerland.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 10:52 PM   #37227
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Don't worry, Austria can't raise the toll much more anyway atm with the current EU regulations. Only Italy could, but likely they have a strong trucking lobby..
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:53 AM   #37228
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
Some years ago Beppe Grillo, now a politician and founder of Movimento 5 Stelle party in Italy, was a stand-up comedian.
I remember watching a show where he said "America exports to Europe tot million tons of cookies. Europe exports to America the same tot million tons of cookies. These travels are expensive and polluting. Why don't everybody eat their own cookies?"
I laughed at the time. Now I see how short-sighted such a statement is.
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Let's all close our countries and consume only what can be locally produced, with local raw materials.
There are some goods that are so highly fungible and readily available anywhere that are indeed nonsense to be transported for thousands of kilometers. For example mineral water: since almost all Europe has good drinking water sources, what's the reason to drink bottled water from 1,000 km away?
However, it's not a thing that can be regulated by governments (in a liberal environment like EU): if many people in Finalnd think that French mineral water is of a superior quality and are willing to pay for it, it will be imported, despite being not eco-friendly.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:55 AM   #37229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdymol View Post
Those 81+60 milion people living in Germany and Italy need the good produced in the other country. For environmentalists is simple to say "trucks are bad, ban them", but they don't realize that those trucks are carrying everything that they and their families need, from food to electronics, clothes or furniture. Having so many restrictions on this vital north-south link is somehow against the "free movement of people and goods" policy that the EU is strongly supporting. Plus it artificially increases the prices for any good transported on this route, making them less competitive.
A well developed rail system may reduce the number of trucks on the roads, but not eliminate them.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 01:24 AM   #37230
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There are some goods that are so highly fungible and readily available anywhere that are indeed nonsense to be transported for thousands of kilometers. For example mineral water: since almost all Europe has good drinking water sources, what's the reason to drink bottled water from 1,000 km away?
However, it's not a thing that can be regulated by governments (in a liberal environment like EU): if many people in Finalnd think that French mineral water is of a superior quality and are willing to pay for it, it will be imported, despite being not eco-friendly.
Because it's a thing that is naturally regulated by the market

Once, the Coca-Cola company wanted to introduce in Poland their bottled water - Bonaqua. And it quickly disappeared, no-one wanted to buy it, people preferred the local waters.

So Coca-Cola changed its brand to Kropla Beskidu (Beskid's Drop, Beskids is a mountain range in Poland). People started buying it, because many customers just think it's a Polish brand, not realizing it's actually one of Coca-Cola

But even if they were still selling Bonaqua in Poland, they wouldn't definitely import the water from abroad, rather just sell the local one under this brand. In the same way as they don't distribute ready Coca-Cola bottles around the world - they produce Coca-Cola locally.

A similar situation is on the market of fuels. The fuel sold on practically all the gas stations in Poland, regardless of the brand, whether it's a local one, BP, Statoil or Lukoil, comes from two Polish producers and the fuel companies (also the foreign ones) just resell it. Adding some stuff in case of the premium fuels.

Another situation is with big consumer electronics and household appliances. Almost all the TV sets sold in Europe come from Poland, Czech Republic or Hungary. LG produces their TVs in Poland, Panasonic in Czech Republic, Samsung in Hungary, Sony in Slovakia. But smartphones... they are much easier to transport, so it's not a problem to produce them in the Far East, in countries like China. Clothes... their production is much less demanding (especially in places where you can pay very little and ignore the safety regulations), so they usually come from countries like Bangladesh.

Of course, "production" means here assembly from parts produced in many different parts of the world.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 08:56 PM   #37231
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I wonder what the deal is with eastern EU TV sets
In North America, always "made in China" and usually South Korean brands now.
Sometimes Mexico in the end of the "tube" style but now...

I still like my car, Saab. Made in Sweden. But engine, Australia, transmission, Japan, wheels, radiator and many parts Made in Poland, lights, Germany, windshield, Colombia (!)
Global trade is important to reduce costs, but the social aspect I think is highly underlooked - making customers, making suppliers around the world creates friendships and understandings across borders and cultures. The racist insanity of say WWII era becomes impossible if the people actually know people on "the other side".
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Old October 9th, 2017, 11:29 PM   #37232
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In Poland South Korean brands dominate too, but they manufacture in the Central Europe.

The number one is Samsung, then probably LG, then Panasonic I would say, and Sony. Two last ones are Japanese, but the Koreans dominate the market.

Then you have Philips, Thomson and other brands like Funai or our local Manta. Also other world-known TV brands, like Sharp or Toshiba, but now they are rather the minority. Most people buy Samsungs, probably because they have best promotion. Maybe also because they have best multimedia ("smart TV") functionality. Although just the quality of products seems to be a bit better in case of Panasonic. The low-end Samsung TVs have quite blurry picture in case of poor quality signal (with huge amount of compression) and a bit weird colors; for Panasonics from the same price shelf (apart from that Panasonic is generally a little bit more expensive) it looks much better. But the higher models of Samsung are OK.

Also Panasonic seems to have most comfortable remotes and, generally, the user interface (OSD). I have two Panasonic TVs and one Samsung at home, so I can compare it. The remote of the Samsung is of much poorer quality and the interface is more inconvenient to use, even though this Samsung is much a higher model than those Panasonics (although the plus of the Samsung is that it has an extra "smart" remote and that one is good; the ordinary one - not really).

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Old October 10th, 2017, 02:49 AM   #37233
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
However, it's not a thing that can be regulated by governments (in a liberal environment like EU): if many people in Finalnd think that French mineral water is of a superior quality and are willing to pay for it, it will be imported, despite being not eco-friendly.
Bottled water is the biggest scam in the history of mankind because there's absolutely no difference other than marketing, but I digress. If someone in Finland isn't happy about what's on the market as far as bottled water goes then they should chase the business opportunity to create their own brand
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Old October 10th, 2017, 07:47 PM   #37234
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Global trade is important to reduce costs, but the social aspect I think is highly underlooked - making customers, making suppliers around the world creates friendships and understandings across borders and cultures. The racist insanity of say WWII era becomes impossible if the people actually know people on "the other side".
I'm not sure about that. Let's see some Arabic countries, that are very integrated in the global market and trade, but on the other hand are extremely backward and brutal regards human rights and very hostile towards other cultures and religions.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old October 10th, 2017, 08:26 PM   #37235
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I'm not sure about that. Let's see some Arabic countries, that are very integrated in the global market and trade, but on the other hand are extremely backward and brutal regards human rights and very hostile towards other cultures and religions.
But this globalism, at least, is fun in some aspects. I am in a work group with some citizens of different European countries and we are currently preparing some internal rules for procedures. And yes, the stereotypes are very accurate sometimes: Germans are punctual as hell, French just reply with "okay" (I have never got a reply different than "okay"), my colleagues from the V4 do not respond at all or agree with everything (no creativity indeed).
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Old October 10th, 2017, 11:26 PM   #37236
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Bottled water is the biggest scam in the history of mankind because there's absolutely no difference other than marketing, but I digress. If someone in Finland isn't happy about what's on the market as far as bottled water goes then they should chase the business opportunity to create their own brand
How about importing dirty salt from India and selling it as Himalayan salt at astronomical prices?

A human being is irrational in many senses. This observation was worth of the Nobel in Economy this week. A less polite statement tells us that there is no limit how much a consumer can be underrated. Anything can be sold to human beings if the product can be made attractive to them

What comes to French or Italian mineral water exported to countries like Finland where there is no lack of water, it is about feelings, marketing and brand names. Like transporting bulk wines from Chile, Australia and US to Europe. Or like thinking that a cardboard-tasting cognac is automatically better than any quality brandy just because it is cognac. Unlimited number of examples exist.

If there is demand for something, there always is a vendor.

Do you know that Finland exports a lot of reindeer food to the Central Europe, especially to Germany? It is sold as decoration material at ridiculous prices.



Importing water is not a big deal in Finland. A few years ago, it was cool for teenagers to walk on the streets with a bottle of Evian in the hand. That fashion lasted for about one summer, but peeked the sales. My advice was then to read the Evian label through the bottle. Quite many refilled their Evian bottle with tap water.

The world would be quite lousy if locally made products only would be available.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 12:50 AM   #37237
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In Poland many people are still afraid of drinking tap water, as its quality was still not that good not such a long time ago.

And even now, many people, especially in rural areas, have own wells if there is no public water supply system. And there, the quality of the water may vary too.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 01:08 AM   #37238
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In Poland many people are still afraid of drinking tap water, as its quality was still not that good not such a long time ago.

And even now, many people, especially in rural areas, have own wells if there is no public water supply system. And there, the quality of the water may vary too.
About tap water... I never drink bottled water when going somewhere. For example when I was in Krakow (that was my only visit in Poland so far) I found the water very good for my stomach. Also in other countries and in home I always drink tap water only. But in some places the tap water can be more soft like....
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Old October 11th, 2017, 01:10 AM   #37239
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Bottled waters can be very different one another. I'm no sommelier, but I can tell, say, Uliveto and San Benedetto waters apart. So it's perfectly fine to seek for a bottled water that can meet your tastes. I tend to buy local, but only if I like the water: when I'm in Turin I buy "Pian della Mussa" - less than 50 km away, so good that it's the water that astronauts on the ISS drink, when I'm in Brescia I drink Maniva (70 km away).
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Old October 11th, 2017, 02:37 AM   #37240
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There are different types of bottled water. There is what we call in Poland "natural water from source" and "mineral water". The first one is not really much different from tap water, actually the tap water may have more minerals from it. Mineral water contains a higher amount of minerals, so it might be beneficial for health. Some special types of mineral water ("curing water") are even drunk for medical reasons in spa resorts, as a kind of therapy.

Apart from that, you rather won't get carbonated tap water and it might be difficult to get it carbonated at home. Although, supposedly, tools for that used to be popular in the past:

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