General Motors has just posted a third-quarter operating loss, but said stabilising sales and lower costs mean it can start paying back the bailout money it owes the US government six years sooner than it has to.The 4.5 billion euro loan will be paid down from next month. General Motors net loss in the quarter was 800 million euros, half of that in the US. CEO Fritz Henderson said elsewhere it did better: “International operations were profitable in this period from July 10th to September 30th. Europe was not; Europe lost a little bit more than 400 million in that period, which means that Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East at least were solidly profitable.” Meanwhile, the German Economy Minister has been talking tough about the prospect of GM getting any state aid for its struggling Opel unit. Rainer Bruederle said previous German pledges to provide state aid to Opel no longer apply now that its US parent has said it can restructure its European arm alone. Berlin and Opel’s unions were furious when GM pulled out a deal to sell to Canadian car parts maker Magna. However the German government appears split on whether it should provide aid to Opel.