Spain expresses concerns over Opel’s layoffs

28th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Spanish industry minister wrote to European commissioners to intervene in the restructuring of Opel, reports the Financial Times.

London –  Spain has stepped up pressure on European regulators to intervene in the restructuring of car maker Opel amid fears of mass layoffs in plants across the continent, a report said Monday.

Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian has written to European commissioners, the Financial Times said.

In a letter dated 28 September, Sebastian insists that any reorganisation by Opel's planned new owners, Canadian auto parts group Magna International, must "make best possible use of the company's assets".

This is a veiled reference to Opel’s plant in Zaragoza, northern Spain, according to the newspaper.

Regulators are probing claims of a political carve-up in the Opel sale.

Belgium, Spain, Britain and Poland have all raised concerns that the Opel sale to Magna would see them at a disadvantage compared to Germany which has backed the deal with EUR 4.5 billion in state aid.

The German government has defended the controversial aid after a series of complaints of possible political interference, saying Germany would bear the brunt of European job losses.

According to details leaked to German media, Magna is poised to slash around 11,000 jobs from around 45,000 in Europe, including roughly 4,000 from some 25,000 in Germany.

Earlier in September, struggling US giant General Motors announced the sale of a majority stake in its European arm Opel to Magna and its partner, Russian state-owned lender Sberbank.

AFP / Expatica

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