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Germany

Schröder Opposes Vehicle Bans

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is against introducing driving restrictions to help fight air pollution and prefers to promote the use of filters on diesel vehicles, a spokesman said on Wednesday. "The chancellor prefers centralized, long-term and therefore lasting solutions," the spokesman said. Demands for bans in Germany on driving on Sundays have accelerated after pollution levels exceeded European Union norms in some areas recently. A resident of Munich has filed a legal complaint against the southern state of Bavaria for allowing pollution levels to get out of control, and the city of Stuttgart, in the west, has also contravened EU anti-pollution directives. The EU maximum level of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air particles was exceeded for the 36th time in Munich on Monday, one time more than the 35 transgressions the Union permits each year. The spokesman said the government would provide tax incentives that would encourage the use of special particle filters on diesel engines in both new and used vehicles. Germany's cities and towns federation says that about one third of air pollution comes from diesel-powered vehicles, another third from cars that run on petrol while the rest is produced by industry.

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