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Every year in France, atmospheric pollution causes the deaths of an estimated 48,000 people and annually costs the country’s economy more than 100 billion euros. The authorities in Paris, where pollution has reached record peaks in recent years, this month introduced a programme to restrict access to the capital by most-polluting vehicles and incentives for inhabitants to give up ownership of cars. But, as Laurent Geslin reports, the plan has been attacked as discriminating for lower-income groups of the population amid wide disagreement between government, city authorities and political parties on how to tackle a growing health crisis.
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