OPINION

Some arguments for the benefits of modern diesel engines in vehicles

Your publications from November 23rd through 25th concerning the ban on diesel-powered cars in Athens and Thessaloniki urgently need completion and correction. It is ridiculous when Mr Souflias (Public Works Minister) states that a lifting of the ban presupposes an environmental impact study (to add another superfluous study for this country of thousands of useless studies). He overlooks the uncontested fact that modern diesel engines emit less particle matter than gasoline engines (this fact can be easily verified by the respective car makers) and, at the same time, he suppresses to mention the main reasoning why the government rejects a change: being simply that it expects much lower taxes than by allowing gasoline-powered cars (diesels account for less consumption and lower fuel prices). Does he think that environmentally conscious countries, such as Austria, France, Belgium and Germany, are stupid when they allow 40-70 percent diesel cars? This attitude aims to continue cheating the Greek people in spite of better knowledge.  What is even more astonishing is the attitude of Greenpeace when Mr Stelios Psomas contends that the lifting of the ban leads to an «inordinate increase in pollution in both cities.» This is sheer ignorance, or perhaps they are being commissioned by the administration to spread nonsense. Just the contrary would be the case: less air pollution and considerable lowering of the cost of running a vehicle. DR GERHARD FISCHER, Athens.