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Possible financial help for Europe's carmakers

The European Union has backed a plan in principle to give continental carmakers loans at attractive rates.

Carmakers have asked for £40 billion Euros (£31 Billion) to help develop cars which meet EU CO2 emission targets.

The ACEA European Carmakers’ Association requested the money to help them remain competitive in the face of plans to provide huge loans to their US rivals, according to the BBC website.

EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said such loans made through the European Investment Bank should be accepted in principle and has already met with executives from Daimler and Peugeot Citroen.

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