HANDELSBLATT EXCLUSIVE

Germany Proposes €500 Million Pollution Fund

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Just don't add diesel to the fire. Picture source: Reuters.

Facing a revolt by angry voters who own diesel cars, the German government is proposing the creation of a €500 million ($581 million) fund to help pay for a series of measures to reduce air pollution with the aim of reducing the threat of driving bans in cities, sources told Handelsblatt Wednesday.

The sources said the fund, which would be financed by equal contributions from the government and carmakers, would be presented at a summit meeting on Aug. 2 that will include federal, state and local officials and executives from Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Daimler, Ford and Opel.

The fund proposal is aimed at soothing voter fears eight weeks before elections for the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. After a court ordered cities to reduce pollution to legal levels, complete driving bans are being considered in Stuttgart and Munich.  Officials are worried that if limits on diesels are enforced, the resale value of diesel cars will plummet.

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