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Fight looms over aid to Magna-led Opel Add to ...

A Canadian-Russian consortium's plan to buy auto maker Opel from General Motors faced more hurdles as scrutiny of German state aid intensified and labour leaders demanded a veto over job cuts.

The skirmishing on two fronts posed headaches for Canadian automotive supplier Magna and its Russian allies in what has become a politically fraught deal to build loss-making Opel into a power on global car markets.

Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt told Reuters he had asked European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to ensure that the deal did not favour Germany over other countries such as Belgium and Britain that also host GM plants.

The issue will come up on Monday when the European Parliament debates the Opel transaction at the request of Mr. Verhofstadat, the leader of the Liberals who make up the third-largest group in the EU assembly.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Industry Commissioner Verheugen will attend.

 

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