The European Commission and officials from countries hosting Opel factories will discuss on Oct. 7 Germany's controversial plan to grant state aid for the ailing European carmaker.
The meeting will make it easier for the Commission to decide whether Opel should receive aid after it is sold to a group led by Canadian automotive group Magna (MGa.TO) by General Motors [GM.UL], EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said.
Berlin's pledge to give 4.5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) to Opel after the sale has sparked criticism from some other countries, which fear that as a result the new owner would be more eager to protect jobs in Germany than elsewhere.
Earlier this month, GM agreed to sell a 55 percent stake in Opel to Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank (SBER03.MM).
Britain entered the fray when business secretary Peter Mandelson said Magna's restructuring plan would be open to political intervention, too expensive and punish productive plants.
What we will do on the 7th of October is to decide on the basis for a decision. The decision will be whether there will be state aid and who is going to pay, Verheugen told a meeting of EU ministers in charge of competitiveness.
Earlier on Thursday a spokesman for Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes reiterated EU antitrust regulators would scrutinise carefully any state aid given to Opel to see if it adhered to the bloc's state aid rules. ($1=.6790 euros) (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Greg Mahlich)