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Business

EU Threatens Suit Over Germany's Can Deposit Law

The European Commission has threatened to take Germany to court if it doesn't rehaul its controversial law imposing a deposit on one-way bottles and cans used for drinks such as mineral water and beer. At a meeting in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday, the Commission it was giving Germany two months to change the law, adding it hands German bottlers an unfair advantage over rivals in other EU countries. The German law mandating that consumers pay a deposit of at least 25 or 50 cents, depending on the size of the bottles, went into effect last year. "While the Commission sees the environmental benefit of charging a deposit and of taking back packaging, it believes that the way in which the deposit and return systems function in Germany constitutes a disproportionate barrier to the free movement of packaged beverages from other member states," European Single Market Commissioner Fritz Bolkestein said in a statement. The commission will take the case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, if Germany fails to change the law in the next two months.