On Friday Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes had written to the German Economy Minister, voicing doubts about Germany’s offer to provide 4.5 billion euros in financial aid for Opel as part of the deal with Canadian Magna and Russian Sberbank. As Euractiv points out, the German government said repeatedly it had a “clear preference” for the Magna bid as it offered Opel the most promising future and would protect German jobs.
Now Germany’s government has written a letter to GM and the Opel trust assuring them that the €4.5bn of government aid for the deal was not dependent on Magna and Sberbank being the winner, and was available to all bidders. Quite convincing.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung explains that arguments for the deal have nothing to do with Community competition law. But of course. Community competition law is a decoration we wear when the weather is appropriate.