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Lord Mandelson upsets the German government

If there is one skill which Lord Mandelson has retained from his earlier days in politics it is the ability to spot an opportunity from miles away at very short notice. Today he has used this particular skill to great effect jumping on the bandwagon of the General Motors U-turn on GM Europe and taking the lead in talks with General Motors and the German authorities. So what exactly is going on?

It would appear that Lord Mandelson is now attempting to take the lead on this particular issue and has suggested that, if there is a viable business plan, the UK government would be willing to invest in the GM Europe operation in the UK. This would effectively mean UK taxpayers funding part of the GM Europe operation in the UK, which involves Vauxhall and Opel, in order to safeguard around 5000 jobs in the country which directly depend upon GM Europe and thousands more in direct employment positions.

The fact that General Motors has now decided to retain the operation, at least for the time being, totally changes the playing field and the UK government is determined to play a more forceful and leading role than it did in the initial talks with Magna.

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