German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the German government is ready to guarantee funds for Opel, if that becomes necessary.
Speaking at a news conference after meeting Opel executives and GM Europe Chief Carl-Peter Forster, Merkel said: “We discussed a possible guarantee that would secure a medium-term liquidity requirement.
“It’s not yet been decided whether such a guarantee would even be necessary. It depends on developments in the United States,” Merkel said. “But from the German government side, we’ve said we want to constructively examine the possibility.”
GM in Europe has recently swung to loss and concerns have been raised about worst-case scenarios and possible fallout from GM’s troubles in the US.
Forster said Opel would keep any state funds in Germany. “If they’re needed they’ll stay here,” he said. “We’re looking for a vehicle to ensure that. We’re talking about an amount of a bit more than 1 billion euros.” Opel’s short-term liquidity was secured, he said.
“Opel does not have a short-term liquidity problem,” Forster says. Instead, the talks were required in the worst-case scenario that financial flows from the US no longer would be possible. It would then be necessary to secure the competitiveness of Opel. In this case, a government guarantee could be a solution. “We are not talking about subsidies, rather a protective umbrella of available liquidity in the worst case,” Forster says.