Trustee resigns over Berlin’s role in GM sale

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One of five board members of the Opel Trust set up to approve GM’s sale of its European business (GME) stepped down at the weekend in protest at interference by German politicians.

Although the resignation carries little sting after the US parent company’s decision last week to keep GME – which includes Opel in Germany and Vauxhall in the UK - it adds to Berlin’s embarrassment over the collapsed deal.

GM had agreed to sell the business to Magna, the Canadian car parts group, lubricated by €4.5bn (£4bn) of public money. But when the German government was forced admit that the funds were available to any potential buyer, GM decided to do the necessary re-structuring itself.

Meanwhile, the Opel labour leader said he is willing to talk about re-structuring plan, in return for greater independence for the German business. “GM does not enjoy any credibility or faith in the eyes of the public or the (German) government, so it has to consider whether it now wants to seek confrontation or cooperation by finding a common solution,” Klaus Franz told Reuters.