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The Economist on a burgeoning spat between Germany on one side, and France and Italy on the other, as the countries seek to use EU emissions regulations to protect and promote their respective automotive industries. France has refused the export of around 4,000 luxury Mercedes over the type of fluid in the air-conditioning units. The subtext is that it and the Italians are trying to protect sales of their domestic vehicles, which tend to be smaller and emit far less pollutants, as against German imports that tend to be bigger and, as a result, more polluting.

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