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EU questions German state aid for Opel

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EU questions German state aid for Opel

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The German decision to offer state aid to ailing car-maker Opel has raised eyebrows in Brussels, which says there are “significant indications” that the plan does not satisfy EU competition rules. The Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has written to Germany’s Economy Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg voicing her reservations about Berlin’s backing for Opel.

Canadian car parts maker Magna International and Russian lender Sberbank won the race to buy a majority stake in General Motors’ European arm, which employs about 50,000 people across the continent. The sale has yet to be finalised, but it has worried other EU member states who accuse Berlin of offering aid to limit potential job cuts in Germany.