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German economy minister doubts constitutionality of diesel fines

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German economy minister doubts constitutionality of diesel fines
FILE PHOTO: German Economic Affairs and Energy Federal Minister Peter Altmaier addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch   -   Copyright  FABRIZIO BENSCH(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Thursday the government could run the risk of breaking the law if it imposed fines on carmakers who fail to offer diesel hardware retrofits.

“Fines are justified under German law when someone has breached his legal obligations. But I have doubts whether this path is even feasible under constitutional law,” Altmaier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, told Deutschlandfunk radio.

A senior member of the centre-left Social Democrat (SPD) coalition party said on Wednesday the government should fine carmakers if they fail to fix dirty diesel vehicles.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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