Germany, France still at odds over CO2 emissions
German government spokesman squashes rumours that row has been resolved and maintains that both countries are unlikely to reach an agreement on Monday.6 June 2008
BERLIN - Germany and France are still at odds over EU-wide plans to reduce car emissions and will not sign an agreement at a bilateral summit next week, a German government spokesman said Friday.
"There are reports in the press saying that the row has been resolved. I cannot confirm this. Talks at technical level are difficult and complicated in detail and I believe that the experts still have to talk about a whole range of issues," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told a news conference.
"Therefore as a result of this situation we do not expect on an agreement can be announced on Monday," when French and German ministers meet in Straubing in southern Germany, Wilhelm said.
The summit, attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior figures, comes ahead of Paris's six-month presidency of the European Union from July 1.
Brussels wants to impose a carbon emissions limit of 120 grams per kilometre on all new EU cars by 2012.
Berlin opposes the plans as vehicles made by German firms like BMW, Daimler and Porsche tend to be larger, luxury vehicles with greater emissions.
France supports the legislation as French carmakers like Renault and Peugeot are more focused on the market for smaller and therefore less polluting cars.
[AFP / Expatica]