According to Merkel, the final deal got a helping hand from US president Barack Obama, who made a decisive phone call to Germany on Friday and “helped swing the deal”. In simple words, Obama helped shed some light on Opel’s financing over the following months.
"I spoke on the phone with the American president yesterday and we were in agreement that we had to do everything possible to come up with a good result for this complicated task," Merkel was quoted as saying by Reuters. "That conversation clearly influenced the negotiations last night."
Additional details surfaced, clearing up the mist over the future owners of the German manufacturer. Alongside Magna, Russian bank Sberbank will get a 35 percent stake, in return for them helping to finance the deal.
"To my mind, this is a very good chance for Russia to obtain one of the most advanced European automakers in terms of technology for an unprecedentedly low price," a German official told Vesti 24 news channel.
However Opel’s future ownership will look like, German workers are thrilled to have gotten rid of Fiat.
"This was pure emotion. I have to see now how to get the adrenaline levels down,” labor leader Klaus Franz, adding that workers coming to work for the Saturday shift “hugged each other in spontaneous celebrations.”
"It's good that we're still alive," one of the workers told the source. "But we still have to see what comes out of all this, where jobs will be cut. We'll probably end up having to pay the bill. But the main thing is: we're still alive."
“What comes out” will be a reduction of personnel of about 11,000, a quarter of which in Germany alone, and a very uncertain future for the plants in Belgium and Britain.