Five European countries in which jobs are threatened by the troubles at car-maker Opel have been called together to discuss what to do.
With Opel’s American parent company General Motors pleading for European public money to stop plants closing, Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugen has urged a joint response. Opel has four factories in Germany but the future is also uncertain in other GM-owned plants in Spain, Poland, Belgium and in Ellesmere Port in England. All the countries concerned have been asked by General Motors to contribute financially to an Opel rescue plan. Germany though is reluctant to cough up, fearing that GM’s problems run so deep it may not be able to honour its assurances. GM’s auditors said on Wednesday they had substantial doubts over whether the company can avoid bankruptcy, a statement that looks set to cement Europe’s scepticism. The head of GM Europe has warned that 3,500 more jobs may have to go and that remaining workers face pay cuts.