Aid For Opel Divides Grand Coalition

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Aid For Opel Divides Grand Coalition
Aid For Opel Divides Grand Coalition

Video: Aid For Opel Divides Grand Coalition

Video: Aid For Opel Divides Grand Coalition
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The crisis over state aid for Opel divides the grand coalition. The Hessian Prime Minister Roland Koch has sharply criticized his party colleague Wolfgang Schäuble. The Federal Minister of the Interior had brought about bankruptcy.

The Opel crisis causes political explosives. In the grand coalition, the SPD is putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with demands for rapid action. There is also a dispute in the Union: The Hessian Prime Minister Roland Koch (CDU) attacked Federal Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) and Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), who had brought the carmaker's insolvency up for discussion.

A quick clarification announced

Vice-government spokesman Thomas Steg emphasized on Sunday after the sometimes contradicting statements: “Within the federal government, there is an agreement between all those involved who have been intensively concerned with the future of Opel for weeks that there is currently no decision on the future of Opel can be hit. A number of questions have still not been answered. But they should be clarified as soon as possible.

Steinmeier had demanded in the "Bild am Sonntag" not to let time "pass by waiting for answers". Politicians should enter into talks with those responsible at the car manufacturer about sustainable future concepts. You have to "do everything possible and responsible" to save Opel jobs. His concern is that jobs that disappear in the crisis will not come back.

The “Handelsblatt” (Monday edition) reported, citing government circles, that Steinmeier's statements were taken “with astonishment” in the Chancellery. SPD leader Franz Müntefering sharpened the tone. "It would be bad politics if we would wait," he said in the "Report from Berlin" of the ARD. He basically thinks help is necessary. «If the conditions are right. Naturally!" In contrast to Merkel, he considers Opel to be “systemically relevant” for the entire economy.

Merkel confirmed in her video message on Saturday that Opel's rescue plan still needs to be improved and clarified. “We will help if the benefit for everyone is greater than the harm. Unfortunately we are not at this point yet. " The government owes it to the Opel employees, "that we do everything we can to see whether we can find such a solution".

According to Opel Works Council Chairman Klaus Franz, a decision could still be four to eight weeks. So much time is needed to clarify the future of the parent company General Motors in the USA, said Franz. There is sufficient liquidity for the payment of wages and the payment of suppliers, he reassured. "Please give us this time," said Franz, who is also on the Opel supervisory board.

Criticism of Schäuble

More than 25,000 people work for Opel in Germany. Across Europe, according to the company, 50,000 jobs depend on Opel. Koch attacked Guttenberg and Schäuble in unusually sharp words. «I urge you to stop the talk about a possible Opel bankruptcy as soon as possible. Anyone who rants about it constantly destroys the trust of customers and suppliers and talks about bankruptcy,”he said of“Bild am Sonntag”.

Guttenberg replied to “WirtschaftsWoche” when asked about a possible Opel insolvency: “It is essential to avoid triggering a breach of state funds through a rash and unfounded decision that can no longer be sustained.” Basically he is being called to the state too much and too quickly, Guttenberg said, also with a view to the highly indebted auto supplier Schaeffler, which had taken over when it bought its competitor Continental.

Opel threatens to be torn into the abyss by the badly ailing US parent company General Motors (GM). GM is on IV drip from the US government and could go bankrupt in a few weeks without further billions in aid. In Germany it is therefore being examined whether Opel can be separated from the group. So far there has been talk of a request for guarantees in the amount of 3.3 billion euros. Overall, the financial need is higher. Opel recently warned that the money could run out as early as April.

Neither the supervisory board nor the European works council had spoken about the closure of plants, said Franz about reports on plans to sell or close locations.

A report by the “Automobilwoche”, according to which the next but one Astra could be developed in South Korea instead of in Rüsselsheim, is also wrong. Franz described reports that Opel had not yet paid a cent in taxes in Germany as misleading. Adam Opel GmbH did not make any profits in the past few years, but before that Opel, as an AG, paid billions in dividends to the parent company and paid taxes on them. (dpa)