Germany expects General Motors to pay back a 1.5 billion euro loan made to help Opel if GM keeps its European unit, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday.

The 1.5 billion euros in bridging aid are a loan. And a loan is a loan, Steinbrueck told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily. General Motors would have to pay back the 1.5 billion euros under the conditions we made for Opel.

Steinbrueck said Germany had tied its support for Opel to a takeover proposal by Canadian automotive firm Magna. A further 3 billion euros in aid that had been mooted would not be given for a closure plan in Germany, he noted.

(Reporting by Dave Graham)