The sky above the city of Leipzig may not show any visible sign of pollution. But that doesn't mean that the air is clean. The EU estimates that some 400,000 citizens die prematurely as a result of poor air quality every year.
Ebbing interest in diesel-engine vehicles and more public holidays caused car sales in Germany to decline in May compared to a year earlier. But experts said the domestic car market remains in good shape overall.
Germany and five other EU countries are facing fines for breaking the law on air pollution. The European Commission is taking them to court — which could get expensive.
Berlin is notorious for dirty air in Germany. The local government wants to introduce speed limits on major roads to tackle the problem, while environmental groups continue to call for a diesel ban across Germany.
That the EU has to sue six countries for violating its air pollution levels demonstrates the vast power auto and energy lobbies exert over governments. But as usual, citizens are likely to bear the burden in the end.
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