May 16, 2018 / 8:05 AM / 4 months ago

Merkel: We must not punish car industry so it can't develop

BERLIN (Reuters) - It is not in Germany’s interests to weaken its scandal-hit car industry so much that it is no longer able to invest in future technologies, Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during the 2018 budget debate at the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

She also called for Europe to support the development of battery and software technologies needed if electric vehicles become the cars of the future, since otherwise Europe risks losing its manufacturing abilities to Asia and North America.

“It’s our responsibility to tell the industry, it’s your duty to regain the lost trust yourself,” she said in a debate on Germany’s upcoming budget, but set herself against calls to further increase the burden on carmakers to retrofit vehicles that produce excessive emissions.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Riham Alkousaa

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