Smog in southern Europe sparks car bans and street protests


Cities across southern Europe are experiencing dangerously high levels of smog caused by a prolonged period of dry sunny weather and light winds. Temporary bans on diesel vehicles have been ordered in major Italian cities, including the capital, Rome, in an effort to reduce the pollution.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, protesters have taken to the streets in gas masks demanding action from the government. Environmentalists have described the situation as a smog emergency. In Rome, diesel cars, vans and motorbikes have been banned during peak times, while other polluting vehicles have been banned altogether.

The restrictions, which are set to remain in place over the next three days, are expected to affect about one million vehicles. At least nine of the 13 areas in Rome that monitor particulate matter – a fine dust known as PM10 – have recorded levels this week in excess of the legal limit, Italy’s Il Messaggero reported.(BBC)…[+]