Belgian region seeks clarity on Opel plant's future

5th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

The head of the Belgian region of Flanders has urged General Motors to pronounce on the future of the Opel auto factory in Antwerp, after the US company scrapped plans to sell off Opel.

BRUSSELS - The now-scrapped restructuring plan "was not good for Antwerp" said Kris Peeters, minister-president of the Dutch-speaking northern region of Belgium.

"Now they are talking of another plan. The question is what will the fate of Antwerp be in this plan," he told Dutch-language television channel VRT.

The Antwerp plant, employing some 2,300 people, had appeared condemned by GM's plan to sell off its European car division to the Canadian group Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.

However General Motors announced Tuesday that its board had decided to keep Opel, angering Germany which had backed the original scheme as the best way of assuring jobs there.

GM said the decision to abort the deal was made due to an improving business environment and "the importance of Opel/Vauxhall to GM's global strategy."

The Flemish region had proposed giving up to 500 million euros (738 million dollars) of aid in exchange for guarantees that the Antwerp plant would survive, an offer which Peeters said remained on the table.

"If Antwerp is given a lasting future, we can talk," he confirmed.


0 Comments To This Article