* Vote on new carbon limits postponed at Germany's behest
* Berlin seen trying to stall decisions until after election
* Similar delays to EU banking union rules, Turkey talks
BRUSSELS, June 28 Germany blocked a deal on
tougher carbon emission limits on new cars sold in the European
Union to protect jobs in its powerful auto sector, Chancellor
Angela Merkel confirmed on Friday.
EU officials say Merkel, who faces elections on Sept. 22,
has sought to delay EU decisions on issues sensitive for Germany
- including banking union and EU membership talks with Turkey -
until after the vote.
An agreement earlier this week to enforce an average limit
of 95 grams per kilometre (g/km) across the EU fleet by 2020 had
the backing of most member states, EU sources said.
But Germany, home to premium brands such as Daimler
and BMW, was unhappy with the deal. A vote
by EU ambassadors to approve the compromise, scheduled for
Thursday, was delayed by lobbying as Berlin played for time.
"It is true that we worked to prevent a vote on this,"
Merkel told reporters in Brussels at the end of a two-day summit
of EU leaders, which focused on boosting growth and combating
"Jobs are at stake here. At a time when we are spending days
talking about employment, I think we need to ensure that in our
drive to protect the environment we are not damaging our own
Those who support tougher carbon limits for cars say they
protect jobs by generating demand for highly-skilled technicians
to implement the necessary innovation.
Also, because more efficient, low emission vehicles require
less fuel, consumers are left with more spending power to feed
into the wider economy.
Senior German politicians contacted EU governments to warn
them that German car firms could scale back or scrap production
plans in their countries unless they supported Berlin's efforts
to weaken the emission rules, EU sources told Reuters earlier