German government says bridge loans must be returned
4 November 2009

General Motors will have to give back the money it was loaned by Germany to aid struggling Opel, German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said.

The announcement was made after the US car giant decided to cancel a deal to sell Opel and Vauxhall to Magna.

"We will the get the taxpayer's money back," Bruederle told reporters in Berlin. Angered by the u-turn he said GM’s behavior over the future of Opel was "totally unacceptable."

The German government had supported a sale of Opel to Canadian group Magna and GM’s board had previously agreed to sell a 55 per cent stake.

GM has signaled it would pay back a 1.5 billion euro German bridge loan for Opel by the end of November, according to Juergen Reinholz, economy minister of Thuringia, one of the states in Germany that hosts Opel plants.

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