Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Germans Glad as VW Settles Suit

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Germans Glad as VW Settles Suit

Article excerpt

Volkswagen 's relief is echoed across Germany. A $100 million out-of-court settlement has ended the most harrowing part of the Lopez affair, in which thousands of important documents were allegedly stolen by an executive leaving General Motors Corp. for VW in 1993. From the financial community to the man in the street worried about joblessness, Germans are clearly glad to close the civil chapter, at least, of this long-drawn-out saga.

"We welcome this decision," says Dagmar Opoczynski, spokeswoman for IG Metall, the metalworkers' union, whose members work for both VW and GM's Opel subsidiary in Germany. "We are glad that this suit has come to an end."

Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, a Basque whose career at GM soared as he slashed costs, still faces criminal charges in Germany. The US Justice Department is also investigating the matter. Mr. Lopez allegedly stole sensitive parts-pricing information and plans for a high-efficiency car-assembly system known as "Plant X. …

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