The German state of Lower Saxony could sell its stake in Volkswagen in three years, the state’s economics minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.


According to Reuters, German weekly magazine CAPITAL quoted Walter Hirche, a member of the junior coalition partner FDP, as saying in an interview that the state’s stake of about 20% of VW‘s voting rights was negotiable in the long run.


“I could certainly imagine in the future that two large shareholders, as in the case with DaimlerChrysler, acquire the majority of voting rights,” Hirche reportedly said.


Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, and the Gulf Emirate of Kuwait between them control about 19% of DaimlerChrysler, Reuters noted.


Hirche reportedly said however that the ruling Christian Democrat party and his liberal FDP party were not in agreement over a possible sale, adding that a change would “definitely not (happen) within the next three years,” during the term of the current legislature.


Both Hirche and state premier Christian Wulff are members of VW’s supervisory board, Reuters noted, adding that sources close to the state government said Hirche’s comment was an “individual opinion”.


VW’s workers’ council asked Wulff to revoke his minister’s comments and to make clear the state stood by its stake in the carmaker, its head Klaus Volkert said in a statement, according to Reuters.