Germany doesn’t want to own a slice of Opel but might help it survive, chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

According to Reuters, Merkel rejected the idea of the state taking a direct stake in Opel but told a German TV show: “We do not have that aim at the moment.”

She saw a chance to help Opel suvive with state help, saying: “I am not pessimistic, but we haven’t achieved it yet.”

A future business plan for Opel could only be prepared once GM’s future was known. Merkel said: “Then the (German) state can assume guarantees, if we can work that out.”

Separately, economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said at the weekend he was talking to potential Opel but added their interest was linked to the quality of a GM rescue plan.

Guttenberg had earlier last week met GM CEO and both men agreed it was essential for GM to find a private investor in Opel to lessen the burden on German taxpayers, Reuters reported.

Germany is adamant no state aid for Opel should find its way back to the US parent.