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Fiat Backs Down on Opel Deal

It is unclear yet whether this is just a mean for Fiat to twist the German government's arm or a real sign that Fiat will give up on Opel out of frustration at rival bidder Magna, but the Italian manufacturer announced it will skip important rounds of negotiations with German officials over the following days.

Germany has set a deadline for the two bidders to reach agreements with both GM and the US government, which expires today. Fiat argued that it was not given full access to Opel's financial records, hence they are in no position to make a merger proposal.

"The last round of requests which would require Fiat, among other things, to fund Opel on an emergency basis while the German government determines the exact timing and conditions of the interim financing, would expose Fiat to unnecessary and unwarranted risks," Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We remain committed to finding ways to bridge the expectations of both General Motors and the German government but the emergency nature of the situation cannot put Fiat in a position to take on extravagant risks," added the official.

The pressure is mounting for all the parties involved, as Opel needs to get to cover from the expected GM bankruptcy filing on Monday. If a deal is not reached soon, Opel itself may be sent into insolvency.

Such an outcome is being considered by German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, but it is less appealing to Angela Merkel, who faces elections in a few months. She told Spiegel Online that her government will do its best to avid insolvency.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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