France, EU diplomats slam Germany over combustion engine blockade 

Paris, Mar. 9, (dpa/GNA) - Germany’s blockade of the EU ban on new internal combustion cars from 2035 onwards has met with criticism in France and angered EU diplomats. 

French Minister of Transport Clément Beaune told the LCI radio station in Paris on Wednesday that he had called on his German counterpart, Volker Wissing, to give in. 

“We must keep the ambition to get away from cars with combustion engines by 2035. Otherwise we will be swept away ecologically and industrially. We must make the electric car an affordable, French and European product,” Beaune stressed. 

If counter-signals are sent now, it will not be possible to create an electric car accessible to all, Beaune said. 

Wissing had justified Germany’s refusal to agree to the proposal by the European Commission on how climate-neutral synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, could be used in internal combustion engines after 2035. 

The EU vote on the planned ban on new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 had to be postponed on Friday because of Germany’s demands. 

EU diplomats in Brussels on Wednesday also expressed their anger over the German blockade, criticizing the disunity of the government in Berlin. 

“We think it’s a breach of trust,” a diplomat told dpa regarding Germany’s refusal to back the planned ban, for which Wissing’s pro-business Free Democrats, a junior partner in the governing coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are mostly thought to be responsible. 

Since the negotiations had taken place in the usual manner, objections could have been raised earlier, she added. “One would wish that internal disputes within the coalition were settled beforehand.” 

In the future, the diplomat said, it would always be questionable “what an agreement with Germany is worth at all.” 

Another EU diplomat said that he expected such behaviour from the Hungarian government under Viktor Orban – which in the past has famously vetoed several issues – but that Germany had a special responsibility in the EU. 


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