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Opel crisis: Meeting to coordinate national responses

Publication date: 09 March 2009

Opel crisis: Meeting to coordinate national responses


By inviting all ministers who are concerned by the difficulties currently being experienced by the American group General Motors (GM), owners of Opel, the European Commissioner for Industry, Günter Verheugen, is looking to find a coordinated response to the situation and to put pressure on the world’s second largest automobile manufacturer to provide the missing information. Speaking to the press after the Competitiveness Council, on 5 March, he gave a detailed description of what he expected would be discussed at the meeting, while GM itself seems to be more open to filing for bankruptcy.


Verheugen would, however, first like to get GM to reveal “its plans for its European subsidiaries, for its European manufacturing sites, and to explain what it
intends to do with its intellectual property rights if it intends to assume its responsibilities with regard to its European companies”. It is also hoped that this extraordinary assembly will also allow for those present to reach agreement on a common response to the situation, in order to counter the “bilateral discussions” that GM is very obviously having with different governments.

Although the date of the meeting has not been announced, AFP reports that the meeting organised by Verheugen concerns both those countries where GM has manufacturing sites1 and those where their sub-contractors are based.The aim of the meeting is not to present a European recovery plan to save GM, as requested by the French Secretary of State for Industry, Luc Chatel. “Either way we don’t have money to allocate to this sector in order to save it. Neither do we have
a legal base or the political willingness to do so”, said Verheugen in conclusion. n

Source: Europolitics

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