The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

EU to sue over VW golden share


A five-year battle between the European Commission and Germany came to a head in October as the commissioner for internal markets launched a lawsuit against the German government for flouting EU competition rules. The state has refused to offload its "golden share" in Volkswagen, Europe's biggest car maker, which prevents a hostile foreign takeover.

The case could not have come at a worst time for the company and the government as a wave of strikes in the automotive sector sweeps the country. The week before, VW management had met the leaders of the IG Metall union as 4,000 workers rallied outside the factory.

VW is under growing pressure from leaner competitors, which have begun a price war in North America. Cheaper Japanese cars have taken domestic market share.

Management wants to freeze the wages of it 103,000 staff for two years before slashing them by a third over the next seven years. VW finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch has threatened to cut more than 30,000 jobs if unions don't agree to management's plans to reduce labour costs by e2 billion by 2011. The unions concede some changes are necessary but are holding out for a 4% annual pay rise and 10-year job guarantees.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree