The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said US president Barack Obama helped pave the way to save Opel from imminent bankruptcy.
Opel’s new owners are Canadian-Austrian car parts group Magna. It was with a satisfied air, albeit with a little help from her friends, that Merkel announced the company would have a prosperous future. “The negotiations were, due to their particular structure, also a test of the transatlantic relationship. I had a telephone conversation with the US President yesterday and we agreed to do everything we could to solve this complex issue and achieve a positive result. This guided the negotiations with the US government yesterday,’‘ said the German Chancellor. It was a night of strong coffee and hard talk as meetings dragged on throughout the early hours to strike the landmark deal. The package includes one and half billion euros in bridge financing from the German government. However, it is Magna, backed by Russian bank Sperbank and oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which is now in the driving seat. It has pledged at least another 500 million euros and with it the guarantee that thousands of General Motors’ European workforce will have a job to go to come Monday.