General Motors Co. does a quick roundabout and takes back what GM's chairman, Ed Whitacre, told Germany's Muenchner Merkur newspaper about not needing state aid to help restructure GM's Opel segment.
Whitacre had told the German newspaper that he believes GM will not require money from the German federal government for Opel.
In no uncertain terms, Whitacre said, "If Mrs. Merkel doesn't want to give us anything then we will pay for it ourselves." After the publication of the interview, German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said that GM can cover the cost of restructuring by itself.
According to a report made through German public television station ZDF, Opel labor leader Klaus Franz called talk of GM not needing aid as "short-term propaganda."
He claims that Opel's works council would not negotiate with GM until it had laid out a plan for the company for up to 2014.
What makes the topic politically charged is because German politicians feel betrayed by GM's decision to keep control of Opel after having agreed last September to sell a majority stake to a consortium led by Canada's Magna International Inc. Chancellor Angela Merkel had given her full support for the deal, which provides Magna billions to restructure Opel.