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EU: Any state aid to GM Europe must respect rules

The European Commission said any state aid for struggling automaker General Motors must respect internal market rules and be sanctioned by the EU regulator before it is implemented.

The European Union's executive also said coordinated support measures were needed for restructuring GM Europe, including Opel and Vauxhall.

GM said in March it was seeking €3.3 billion ($4.5 billion) in European state aid to rescue its European business.

“State aid measures must be notified to the European Commission before their implementation and cannot be subject to additional conditions contrary to internal market rules,” the Commission said in a statement.

“While the EU should aim at keeping as many people as possible in jobs, national aid measures within this framework must not affect the freedom of manufacturers to develop their activities in the internal market.”

GM, a major employer in Europe, has production sites in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain and Sweden, with other European countries home to suppliers.

Italian carmaker Fiat SpA has said it intends to merge its car business with General Motors' European brands, Opel, Vauxhall and Saab. (Reuters)