Germany Denies EU Allegations on Opel Deal

The recent concerns raised by European officials that the deal between German carmaker Opel and Canadian supplier Magna may be contrary to the European Union’s competition rules will not endanger the still ongoing deal, German officials say.

Germany’s Economy Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, replied in this manner to a letter sent late on Friday by Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, in which doubts about the 4.5 billion euros aid for Opel were expressed once more.

According to the preliminary investigation of the EC, there are significant indications that the financial aid promised by the German government was a precondition for Magna/Sberbank to win the Opel bid”, the commission said in its report, quoted by AFP.

According to Autonews, the minister said the deal is still on track and Germany will work to address the concerns raised by the commissioner. "We will give them the necessary answers,” zu Guttenberg said.

The deal between the two companies, now in the final leg after Germany’s push to give Opel to Magna, was expected to be closed last week, but, as it so many times happened, the deadline was extended indefinitely. The main reason, this time, was the lack of an understanding with Opel’s Spanish unions. An answer from Spain is expected in the beginning of next week.

"We will give an answer to this proposal on Monday," Juan Arceiz, the head of the workers committee at the Spanish plant said, warning that the workers are in no hurry to reach an understanding.

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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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