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Awaiting Commission views on Opel plan

Awaiting Commission views on Opel plan
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Belgium and Germany remain in suspense over a pending assessment by the new European Commission of a General Motors restructuring plan for its Opel car plants in Europe.

It asks for 2.7 billion euros in state aid; more than 8,300 jobs are at stake, mostly in Belgium and Germany — out of the total 48,000-strong European GM workforce. Spain and the UK face several hundred job reductions under the GM plan also.

The European Commissioner for Industry, Antonio Tajani, talked about Belgian sensibilities: “As the Kingdom of Belgium poses a question, I am convinced we must listen, that way I can provide answers after a technical meeting, even where competition is concerned.”

Individual EU countries cannot table their loan plans until the Commission has pronounced on the plan’s viability. EU rules do not let governments give out aid if it is just to keep operations going in specific countries.