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LONDON (Reuters) - A European crackdown on pollution from ships will require billions of dollars worth of investment by shipping firms on filter technology and by refineries on upgrades to produce cleaner fuels - burdens they can ill afford.

The shipping industry is already struggling due to poor global demand and overcapacity, which have pushed freight rates to unprofitable levels for many operators. European refineries are under pressure from high crude costs, cheap refined product imports and weak demand.

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