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CDU Lodges "Tank Tourism" Complaint

Germany's political opposition is calling for fast and effective measures to combat so-called "tank tourism," which sees Germans flooding across borders to fill up their cars with cheaper gasoline. "The (Social Democratic-Green party)coalition should finally follow the example of other EU countries and act" against the growing phenomenon, CDU representative Michael Kretschmer told the dpa news agency. The government's lack of action and disinterest is no longer acceptable given increasing gas prices, he said. The mineral-oil industry estimates the loss of tax revenues at a billion euros, Kretschmer said. While other countries have taken on the problem directly -- for example, northern Italy has a special EU exception until 2006 allowing for lower taxes to combat cheap gas sold in Switzerland and Slovenia -- Berlin has only tried to get the EU to institute an increase in the lowest tax bracket, he complained.