Germany's diesel car ban revs up political debate

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By Sandor Zsiros  & Damon Embling
Germany's diesel car ban revs up political debate

Driving around Germany in an old diesel car may not be so easy now.

After getting the green light from the country's administrative court and the EU, more and more towns and cities are banning them to protect health and the environment.

But not everyone's happy with the changes.

One garage owner, in the German town of Bochum, told Euronews that many of his customers are angry that they are being forced to get new cars.

"Many are switching to petrol-fueled cars, because people are uncertain," said Uwe Jenrich. "There is a constant debate about who can enter the low-emission zones with what kind of car. My customers think its unnecessary, just like me. With this they force drivers to always pay more when they buy a new car. And it seems there is a hidden business for car=makers. For me its like cheating."

Now Germany's Eurosceptic party the AFD has seized upon the issue in its EU election campaign. They've put up billboards with a clear message - save diesel.

The party argues that they anti-diesel trend harms the less well off - and could harm Germany's car industry.

"Diesel uses 15 per cent less fuel than petrol engines. Because of this, it makes sense to continue to use diesel cars," said Christian Loose, from the AfD. "There are some political parties like the Greens, who want to completely ban diesel cars by 2030. We want to stop this. There are many jobs depending on this in the German car industry. And German diesel engines are most efficient and cleanest in the world. Its not at all true that they are dirty."

It's reported sales of new and used diesel cars have dropped dramatically in Germany over recent years.