German Officials to Meet US Reps to Save Opel

Germany's economy minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg will meet with representatives of the United States to discuss the possibilities to help General Motors' brand Opel. According to The Detroit News, zu Guttenberg will meet with banking leaders in New York as well as with Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner and GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner in Washington.

The German authorities earlier this month announced that Opel's future pretty much depends on parent company General Motors and on the financial support the United States is willing to approve.

“We will support companies like Opel if our help can secure a good future for these businesses and not just go up in smoke without taking any effect," German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying earlier this month.

"Before we decide (on aid), we must know important decisions in the United States; for example, how things proceed with Opel's parent company General Motors, what independence General Motors can give Opel, what happens with Opel patents."

On the other hand, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble admitted that insolvency may represent Opel's only chance during so difficult times and, contrary to what people believe about this option, it could help the brand survive without the help of General Motors.

"In cases like Opel, one should seriously consider exercising insolvency law. Our modern insolvency law is not set up for the destruction but for the preservation of economic assets," Schaeuble, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told the Handelsblatt business daily.

Back in early March, Opel submitted its long-awaited survival plan to the German government but, due to "inadequate" points mentioned in the officials papers, officials were unable to decide whether to help the car manufacturer or not.

"What we have so far is not a workable basis for a decision," Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck was quoted as saying to Deutschlandfunk radio."We can't make decisions that are irresponsible on a completely inadequate basis."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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