MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday expressed her disappointment over the U.S. General Motors (GM)'s decision not to sell Germany's Opel to the Magna-Sberbank consortium, German media reported.
Merkel, who said GM's decision was a "defeat," requested the country's economic minister, Rainer Bruederle, to raise the issue at Wednesday's cabinet meeting, Handesblatt reported. The German government had earlier pledged support for Opel only if it is sold to the consortium.
Early on Wednesday, GM's board of directors decided to retain its big European car division, citing "an improving business environment" in Europe.
Prime Minister Roland Koch also lashed out at GM's decision.
"I'm shocked and at the same time angry that months-long efforts by Europe to find the best solution for Opel were crushed by General Motors," Welt quoted the official as saying.
"In light of the negative experience of GM's business strategy, I'm worried about the company's future. I also hope they would return us the [$1.5-billion] bridge loan by November 30, so that German taxpayers do not suffer the loss," he said.
On September 10, General Motors announced that it took a long-awaited decision to sell Opel to a consortium of Canada's auto parts maker Magna and Russia's largest bank, Sberbank. The decision was approved by the Opel board and the German government.
According to the previous plans, the Magna-Sberbank consortium was set to own a 55% stake in Opel on a parity basis, and the German carmaker was to control 10% with GM retaining 35%.