Germany's economy minister has distanced himself from comments by a party colleague who had said the new government in Berlin would review the previously agreed sale of General Motors unit Opel to Canada's Magna.

Dirk Pfeil, a Free Democrat (FDP) and member of the trust overseeing Opel, told a German newspaper this week Berlin's new centre-right coalition planned to review the Opel sale plan and that the carmaker could end up staying part of US parent GM.

However, new FDP economy minister Rainer Bruederle told Reuters that Pfeil was "not a spokesman for the government" and played down the possibility that chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition could take another look at the deal.

"We have a situation where much has already been locked in," Bruederle said.

The FDP has been sceptical of the planned sale to Magna and Russian partner Sberbank, which was pushed through by Merkel's previous coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD).

The GM board is due to meet on Tuesday (3 November) to decide whether to press on with the sale of a 55% stake in Opel after European Union competition authorities in Brussels expressed concerns about the fairness of the bidding process.

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