U.S. Taxpayer Repays Part of GM's German Loan

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

As part of its eleventh-hour decision to hold onto its Opel subsidiary, GM has made a 200m euro ($300 million) payment on its German “bridge loan” reports the WSJ. GM Europe Chief Financial Officer Enrico Digirolamo announced that the nationalized automaker will repay the remaining 400m euros ($600 million) by the end of the month. The German government greeted the news with something roughly akin to a Gallic shrug. “If General Motors and its subsidiary are in the position to restructure through its own strength and financing, that’s good news,” German Ec0nomy Ministry spokesman Felix Probst opined. Translation: we’ll take it. Which is just as well, given that GM’s Chairman of the Board returned the money with some seriously sarcasm attached. “I think we won’t be needing money from your government for Opel,” Edward Whitacre said, according to Merkur newspaper. “If Mrs. Merkel declines help, we will pay for it ourselves. Maybe this make will your chancellor happy.” Yes, well, meanwhile, GM’s European operatives had the begging bowl at the ready. “The restructuring of Opel for long-term sustainability requires involvement and financial support from all stakeholders, including employees and governments. We remain in discussions with governments to engage our plan.”

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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