World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Union on Tuesday gave France, Germany, Britain and six other polluting member states until next week to meet the bloc's air quality standards or face legal action.
EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella gave ministers until next week to come up with solutions to what he called the "life-threatening" air pollution issue that the bloc says causes 400,000 deaths a year.
"In the face of such outstanding failures to take serious action and in view that the ongoing legal process will continue, I urge all member states to address this life threatening problem with the urgency it deserves," Vella told a press conference.
He told the ministers "that if they have any new measures that they can put on the table, that they have to come with these new measures latest by Monday."
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas later said that Vella "gave the member states the deadline until the end of next week to complete their submissions so that a recourse to the court will be avoided."
Vella delivered the warning during a "final chance" meeting in Brussels Tuesday with ministers from France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.
Britain was summoned despite the fact it is due to leave the EU next year.
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