Opel on Agenda of German, French Economy Ministers' Meeting

By Andrea Thomas Features Dow Jones Newswires

BERLIN--Peugeot's (UG.FR) plan to buy General Motors Co.'s (GM) German unit Opel will play a "major role" in a meeting of German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries with her French counterpart in Paris on Thursday, according to the German government.

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"This visit has been planned for a very long time," said Economy Ministry spokesman Andreas Audretsch. "But of course it's quite clear Opel will also play a major role at this meeting."

Germany is pushing the French car maker to safeguard German jobs and factories. The takeover of GM's Opel and Vauxhall units would create Europe's second-largest auto maker by sales.

The priority for the German government is to "keep jobs, sites and development centers in Germany" and to ensure that agreements between company management and employees will be respected, Mr. Audretsch said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is kept updated on the issue, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Mr. Audretsch also said that the government is in talks with the U.K. over GM's plans.

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Write to Andrea Thomas at andrea.thomas@wsj.com