Extracts from the EC midday press briefing by Johannes Laitenberger, spokesperson of José Manuel Barroso, on General Motors Europe and Opel
Johannes Laitenberger, spokesperson of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, read the EC statement regarding the last developments concerning GM Europe, during the midday press briefing on 11/09/2009.
This is the complete statement issued by the European Commission:
1. The Commission has been following the situation of GM Europe very closely. It has notably organized several ministerial meetings to ensure full information and transparency among all parties affected. It has clarified the EU state aid and internal market rules which must be respected.
2. The Commission is aware that General Motors has taken a decision to only hold a minority share in GM Europe in the future. The Opel Trust has decided to support this approach. The Commission therefore notes that the process has been launched to create an independent European producer.
3. It is obvious that the Commission is not yet in a position to comment on the details of the process because such details have not yet been finalized by the actors directly responsible, i.e. the undertakings. The Commission is in touch with the actors directly responsible and the Member States affected. President Barroso has asked Vice-President Verheugen and Commissioner Kroes to monitor the situation and to ensure information and transparency among all Member States affected. The Commission will call another ministerial meeting as soon as appropriate. The Commission's Competition DG is already in close touch with the German authorities. The Commission has underlined that the financial support must be fully compliant with all aspects of the EU's state aid and internal market rules, as outlined in May 2009. The German authorities have undertaken to give full details to the Commission.
4. All actors involved will have to live up to what has been repeatedly said by the Commission: The restructuring plan of GM Europe must be economically sound. It must guarantee that the company will be viable in the future. Any decision taken - and namely possible financial support by public authorities - must fully comply with the EU's state aid and internal market rules. In particular, state aid cannot be subject to additional non-commercial conditions concerning the location of investments and/or the geographic distribution of restructuring measures.
5. The Commission will continue to very closely follow the developments and remain in permanent contact with the actors. It will evaluate the situation on the basis of the agreements reached and their notifications. It will be attentive to the social consequences of decisions taken. It will take the action required of it under its competencies. SHOTLIST