Germany hiding information that could boost the case for Opel state aid

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

The Berlin government is being accused of hiding information that could boost the case for providing 1.1 billion euros ($1.31 billion) in state aid to Opel, a European General Motors Co. unit, by a senior German politician who has taken up the cause of Opel workers in East Germany.

Thueringia's Economics Minister Matthias Machnig likened the situation to a game of poker wherein opponents in Berlin used "marked cards" to win against Opel and its employees.

Last Monday, Machnig said that he finds it "unbelievable" that the federal government still won't disclose the full findings of the steering council.

He continues to criticize a two-page statement that was given out during a meeting of the council of independent experts.

He stated further that the government "fears publishing the entire opinion." Opel operates an assembly plant in Eisenach, Thueringia, that makes the Corsa subcompact and has a 190,000-unit capacity.

In relation to this, federal Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle has stated that he supports the stand of the body of experts who had been "very critical" of granting aid.

A decision on whether Germany will give taxpayer's money to support private-sector loans for Opel will be announced this Wednesday.

This decision is expected to be announced by four high-ranking officials from the German rescue fund as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief economic advisor Jens Weidman. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: opel, germany

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