A further meeting of Germany’s economic steering committee slated for tomorrow (9 June) could finally determine if GM division Opel is successful in its EUR1.3bn (US$1.55bn) loan guarantee request.
Of all the countries potentially backing Opel with financial guarantees to ensure its restructuring, it is Germany that appears to be the most reluctant, with the steering committee postponing any decision several times, the latest being last Friday (4 June).
Germany, as is the case with many of its European neighbours, is gripped in the middle of painful budget cuts in a bid to trim its economic deficit.
As a result, widespread speculation in the domestic arena has raised the possibility the government may turn down Opel’s request.
“They have now set a new [steering committee] meeting for tomorrow – I don’t know what may or not happen,” a GM spokesman in Germany told just-auto.
“The delay on Friday came as a surprise to many people. [Economics minister] Rainer Bruderle is the one formally making the decision after the meeting. I don’t know whether it will be immediately afterwards or whether he will sleep on it.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Germany’s decision, Opel had some positive news today with sources in the Aragon regional government telling just-auto it would provide EUR160m (US$191m) in loan guarantees to the carmaker.
As well as the regional aid, GM has also asked for assistance from the Spanish government, although the authorities in Madrid continue to consider its request.
A statement sent to just-auto by the Spanish ministry of industry, tourism and commerce said: “The Spanish government has always manifested it is willing to grant financial endorsement to General Motors for restructuring purposes, having said that, on condition that the company approves an industrial plan which guarantees future economic viability.
“This intention has not been altered. The company’s situation and requirements is being studied at present, for which it is too early to forward specific figures.”