German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the Berlin government will support whoever invests in Opel with financial guarantees but will not take a direct stake in the General Motors subsidiary.
On a visit to Opel’s main plant in Ruesselsheim Merkel met workers wearing tee-shirts bearing the words “We are Opel.” GM Europe – which includes Opel and Britain’s Vauxhall – is looking for an outside investor to secure its long-term future and Merkel said that is her priority. She told the workers: “We need somebody here in Germany who feels committed to Opel and who gets the freedom from General Motors to negotiate in the name of Opel Europe.” So far no prospective investors have come forward. The task is made more complicated by the fact that the parent company has not satisfied the US government about its restructuring and survival plans. Merkel said a task force of German federal and state government officials and financial experts is being set up to negotiate with GM and the US government.