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Coalition dubious about state aid for Opel

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Coalition dubious about state aid for Opel
Photo: DPA
08:39 CEST+02:00
The prospect of state aid for car maker Opel dimmed on Monday with a large number of government MPs reportedly against giving government help to the firm.

Daily Bild reported that many MPs in the ruling coalition of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) were opposed to Opel's request for more than €1 billion in loan guarantees from the federal government.

Michael Fuchs, leader of the conservative parties' small business group said Opel's parent company, US car giant General Motors made a profit of $865 million. GM therefore had the “obligation to help,” rather than the German taxpayer, he said.

Meanwhile Patrick Döring, deputy leader of the FDP's parliamentary group, told Bild: “This coalition must not throw taxpayers' money at companies.”

This follows comments made last week by Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle expressing his own doubts about the loan guarantees, saying it was “a secret for no one that I have been sceptical about the entire dossier from the beginning."

Opel has asked for €1.8 billion in loan guarantees from various governments to back a restructuring plan that would eliminate 8,300 jobs from a European total of around 50,000.

Germany, which would split its share of the aid among federal and state governments, has been very reluctant to commit itself, though governments in three states where Opel has factories are reportedly prepared to offer some loan guarantees.

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