Merkel Ally Requests Delay in Opel Decision

While some German officials struggle to announce the new Opel owner before the local elections in September, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party is requesting a delay in the decision. Hans-Peter Friedrich, conservative parliamentary deputy floor leader, told German daily Die Welt, that all rumors surrounding Opel do nothing more than to put the pressure on GM's shoulders, which turns making an objective decision into a very difficult task.

"I think it would make sense to delay the decision until after the federal elections," he said according to Reuters. "An objective decision could only be made with difficulty in this heated atmosphere in light of the election campaigns."

But the German officials repeatedly asked the US government to intervene in the talks and help General Motors make a decision on Opel. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel called for support from her US counterparts, emphasizing that the 60 percent share which the US government holds in the new GM should now be used to choose the new Opel owner.

"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 just after General Motors announced the latest delay two weeks ago.

"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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