Fiat execs are cheesed by a German EU official who snarks about the Italian automaker's bid for Germany's Opel brand. Citing Fiat's $9 billion (U.S.) in debt, Guenther Verheugen, a German legislator who serves as industry commissioner of the European Union, has said, "Fiat is not the European automaker that is doing the best at the moment. I ask myself where this indebted company will get the means to support two such operations at the same time."
The Italian comeback, from Claudio Scajola, Italy's industry minister: "I understand that for a German politician it could be annoying to have to accept the aid of an Italian business like Fiat to save a German-American one like Opel."
If Fiat does save Opel, it will do so with Berlin bailout money, not its own. And say, haven't the Italians for years been shopping a dysfunctional Alitalia to any European carrier willing to rescue it, since no one in Italy has the will to stare down Alitalia's death-wish unions?