German Chancellor Angela Merkel said General Motors should present a restructuring plan for its Opel unit quickly, adding the US automaker would have to shoulder most of the cost.
“We expect GM to present a reliable plan for Opel quickly,” Merkel said in a speech on Tuesday to the Bundestag lower house of parliament, as she laid out her policy agenda for her second term in government.
“This solution can only work if GM takes over the lion's share of the restructuring costs, which also means that it has to pay back the bridging loan.”
The €1.5 billion ($2.25 billion) bridge loan Germany awarded GM to save Opel from being sucked into GM's bankruptcy earlier this year is due by the end of the month.
Merkel said she “greatly regretted” GM's decision to drop plans to sell a 55% stake in Opel to auto parts maker Magna and Russian bank partner Sberbank.
“The old government decided on a strategic investor for Opel with good cause, to give it a new future,” said Merkel.
“If we hadn't done this, there would be no Opel today, because GM could not fulfill its responsibility towards Opel as mother company for months.” (Reuters)