- auto industry - Germany - GM - USA
AFP - Germany wants a meeting with General Motors in Berlin this week to discuss the fate of Opel, a government spokesman said on Monday as he played down talk of transatlantic tensions over the issue.
"Our aim is to organise this week a meeting in Berlin with a representative from General Motors' board," spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told a regular government briefing.
Germany, where around half of GM's 50,000 employees in Europe work, had hoped for a decision last Friday from the US auto giant's board on which of two offers for Opel it wanted to accept.
Berlin wants GM to accept an offer from Canadian auto parts maker Magna backed by state-owned Russian lender Sberbank, but the GM board is thought to prefer a bid from Brussels-based investment group RHJ International.
GM's board stopped short of making a decision on Friday and did not say what the next steps would be.
Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her disappointment on Saturday, saying she hoped a decision would be made this week, but Wilhelm played down talk of any spat between Washington and Berlin.
"There are constant contacts with representatives of the US government... parallel to the talks with GM," Wilhelm said.
"We have always managed to avoid any tensions in our transatlantic relations. The relations between the two governments are good and unaffected."