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German chancellor blames GM for Opel sale delay news
25 August 2009

German chancellor, Angela Merkel blamed General Motors (GM), the US auto giant which emerged from bankruptcy last month, for delaying the decision over the sale of its troubled European asset, Opel including the Vaxhaull unit in the UK.

Merkel said there might be a ''conflict of interest'' between GM and Germany on the future shareholding of Opel which will make GM a minority shareholder.

Angela Merkel, German chancellor ''I regret that a final decision wasn't made, but I hope it will happen soon, because both for the workers and the economic situation at Opel, we urgently need a decision,'' Merkel said.

The German government supports the offer by the Canadian autoparts group Magna, backed by its Russian ally Sberbank, which it considers as the best option to save the jobs of around 25,000 people in Germany. The government has agreed to provide 4.5 billion ($6.4 billion) assistance to finance the Magna deal.

The rival bidder RHJ International, the Belgian investment group, is also keen to acquire GM's European jewel.

Opel union leader Klaus Franz yesterday threatened spectacular action if GM fails to take a decision this week.

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German chancellor blames GM for Opel sale delay