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Mandelson supports GM

Business secretary Lord Mandelson said yesterday that the government would underwrite General Motors&rsquo; plans to restructure its European operations, which he said offer a &ldquo;solid commitment&rdquo; to its two Vauxhall plants in the UK.<br /><br />His comments come a day after GM president and chief executive Fritz Henderson gave hope to UK employees, hinting that Vauxhall&rsquo;s Cheshire plant&nbsp; is safe from closure. <br /><br />But they also follow the news that GM could cut up to 10,000 jobs as part of its European restructuring plan, which it hopes to finalise within three weeks. Nick Reilly, interim head of GM&rsquo;s European business, said the firm must reduce its production across Europe by up to 25 per cent as part of the &euro;3.3bn (&pound;2.9bn) plan.<br /><br />GM is prepared to put up some of its own cash to help fund the restructuring, but hopes to receive money from European governments too.<br />