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Germany Insists Obama Should Help Decide Opel Owner

Negotiations on the new owner for Opel continue, but Germany is still putting pressure on US officials who are insistently asked to step in and help General Motors pick the preferred bidder. General Motors is currently 60 percent owned by the US, but the White House administration last week said that it doesn't plan to get involved in the talks and let the American manufacturer make a decision by itself.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with N24 TV on Wednesday that negotiations with the Americans continue but hasn't provided more details on the subjects of the talks.

"We are negotiating with the Americans over questions that remain regarding Magna's offer," she said.

But the White House administration is not planning to intervene and support General Motors in choosing the preferred bidder, a US official said earlier this week.

"The president's view is that decisions made on the day-to-day operations of General Motors should be made by the folks at General Motors," White House spokesman Bill Burton said earlier this week. "He never wanted to get into the auto business, and he's happy for them to make their decisions and get back on their feet."

Angela Merkel said this week than an Opel decision is needed urgently and once again demanded the American General Motors to decide on the matter.

"I regret that a final decision wasn't made, but I hope it will happen soon, because both for the workers and the economic situation at Opel, we urgently need a decision," she said in the interview with German ZDF television, quoted by Reuters.

"The conflict of interest could be that we think Magna has made a very good offer ... which makes GM a minority shareholder in the whole set-up, and there may be voices at GM ... who'd prefer that this minority shareholding wasn't so marked."
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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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