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Nearly 4,000 drivers were fined for trying to take even-numbered cars into the city, 27 of them losing their car because of their reaction to the fines, while car-sharing and rental agencies reported increased demand for odd-numbered cars. Some observers blamed French car taxation, which favours diesel over petrol, for the increased levels of cancerous particulate matter. Air pollution, dubbed the ‘invisible killer’ by EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik, is a factor in more than 400,000 premature deaths every year.