What's to become of Opel?

Opel's US parent company General Motors has requested further state aid amounting to billions of dollars. The American government will no longer rule out the possibility of the car maker being declared insolvent. General Motors have now announced their intention to cut jobs by a total of 47,000, of which 26,000 will be outside the USA. Five of their US plants are set to close.

It is not yet clear what consequences this move will have for the four Opel sites in Germany at Bochum, Eisenach, Kaiserslautern and Rüsselsheim. North Rhine-Westphalia Minister President Jürgen Rüttgers has booked a meeting with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner in Detroit at which he will be arguing the case for retaining the European sites.

Up to now, General Motors have received 13.4 billion dollars in government hand-outs to stave off the threat of bankruptcy. According to a restructuring plan worked out on Tuesday, the company requires a further state credit of 16.6 billion dollars.