Getting tough

The European Commission said it would file a lawsuit against four European Union (eu) countries as they have been unsuccessful in implementing a law associated with controlling industrial pollution. Luxembourg's European Court of Justice will take legal action against Spain, Greece and Finland and the uk . The commission also sent final warning letters to Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, who too have failed to implement the directive. They have been given a time period of two months to implement this directive. Any failure on their part would result in legal action.

All the four countries failed to implement the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control directive which was passed in 1996. The directive comprises measures on limiting pollution emissions into air, water and soil. eu 's 15 members were scheduled to incorporate the directive in their laws by November 1999, but almost half of them have been late in doing so. "Countries must make every effort to formulate laws as soon as possible,' said Margot Wallstrom, eu 's environment commissioner.

In a separate case, the commission said that it would take Belgium and Greece to court for failing to comply with a 1979 directive on protecting birds.

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