EU BAILOUT UNLIKELY

European rivals have called for $50bn in soft loans, with General Motors' German unit Opel struggling for survival, but the European commission has said any aid would have to be targeted and temporary.

Kroes said countries would simply export their problems to their neighbours by handing out poorly considered subsidies, and the EU had existing mechanisms that could help big car manufacturers.

"R&D aid or environment aid, for example, would have the double benefit of helping the industry and helping address the problem of climate change," she said.

Cutting emissions from cars is an important part of ambitious EU goals of curbing overall carbon dioxide output by a fifth by 2020. . . SOME. ..MULTINATIONAL AUTO COMPANIES HAVE HEADQUARTERS IN EUROPE.

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