German lawmaker blasts EU for opposing Niki sale to Lufthansa

The German government will likely lose a 150 million euro loan backed to the state of Air Berlin because the European Union has opposed it. Lufthansa's purchase of Austria's Air Berlin unit, Niki, a prominent member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

The British Airways owner, IAG, announced Friday that he would buy Niki for 20 million euros and provide the company with additional cash of 16.5 million euros, closing it up. the last chapter of the bankruptcy of Air Berlin. Air Berlin filed an insolvency application early in the year.

"The damages will be borne by German creditors and taxpayers, who will see nothing of the Air Berlin bridge loan of an amount of 150 million euros," said Hans Michelbach Vice-Chairman of the Bavarian CSU in Parliament and Finance Spokesperson for the Conservative bloc.

The situation would have been different if Lufthansa had been allowed to buy the airline for nearly 200 million euros, Michelbach said. Lufthansa gave up an agreement to buy Niki after the European Commission said it would block the sale.

The German government also criticized the Commission's position earlier this month, saying that only part of KfW's bridge loan would be repaid.

The Bavarian legislature called for a detailed investigation into the insolvencies of Air Berlin and Niki and on the actions of European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

He said that the details appeared to show that the EU had conducted secret negotiations and caused Lufthansa to withdraw its takeover bid on Niki in order to "allow the takeover by a certain investor at a good price. "

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