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GM's leadership draws criticism from German Economy Minister

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GM's leadership draws criticism from German Economy Minister

DECEMBER 2, 2009 14:16 CET

BERLIN (Reuters) -- German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle Wednesday criticized General Motors Co. following the abrupt departure of CEO Fritz Henderson and the company's presentation of an incomplete restructuring plan for Opel and sister brand Vauxhall.

"Both the plan and the resignation of GM chief Henderson confirm that there is no clear line at GM," he said.

Bruederle said that GM has signaled it is ready to contribute about 600 million euros ($904.3 million) of its own cash to restructure its Opel carmaking unit "and wants the rest to be provided by European taxpayers."

"The paper submitted is not an application for state funds and cannot serve as the basis for making an assessment of one," he said. "It provides no answers to any of the important questions about Opel's future."

The U.S. carmaker has said it needs a total of 3.3 billion euros to overhaul Opel, which would leave approximately 2.7 billion to be financed by European governments.

Bruederle said GM had yet to convince Germany that the carmaker warranted state aid.

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