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Euro bank bosses condemned over £80m Ford loan

By Patrick Knox

6:34pm Thursday 8th November 2012

Euro bank bosses condemned over £80m Ford loan

EUROPEAN bank bosses have claimed they were clueless about Ford’s plans to ditch Southampton’s plant when handing £80m to its Turkey factory.

As previously revealed, the US car giant received the loan for its Turkish plant, where it has been ramping up production – while production tumbled at the Swaythling plant.

Ford is using the cash to upgrade the booming plant in the Mediterranean country, which is not even a European Union member.

South East Euro MPs last night renewed their condemnation of the loan, which they said sealed the fate of the “home of the Transit” in Southampton.

The loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), owned by Britain and fellow EU member states, was agreed in June as part of a multi-billion-dollar investment plan for the 395-acre site in Kocaeli which is taking over all Transit production.

But the EIB last night told the Daily Echo it “strongly refuted” that the loan led to the closure of the Southampton plant.

It said it had financed the production of existing Turkish-made vans and on the back of promises that Ford’s Southampton plant had a future.

A spokesman said: “There is no link between funding in Turkey and the job losses in Southampton. It was an unfortunate decision taken by Ford which impacted on UK jobs.

“Evaluation for this EIB loan was completed in December 2011. At the time of the evaluation, it was foreseen that a version of the new vehicle would continue to be sourced from Ford’s Southampton plant.”

But with the plant closing in July 2013 after nearly 40 years, its Turkish counterpart is set to thrive.

Thanks to the loan, it will be introducing state-of-the-art facilities to prepare for production of a next generation of vans.

The same new models will soon be making their appearance on the quayside of Southampton – having been shipped from a non-EU member with much less workers’ pay and conditions rights.

UK Independence Party leader and South East MEP Nigel Farage questioned why Chancellor George Osborne, a governor of the bank as one of the 27 member states that own it, allowed the loan to go ahead to a country outside the EU.

He said: “The EIB says it is not an issue of timing. But it is a simple fact that UK taxpayers, through the EIB, were subsidising the closure of a UK manufacturing plant. It is just a sweetener to get Turkey to join the EU.”

Daniel Hannan, Conservative South East MEP, said: “Competition is one thing, but it’s outrageous that British taxpayers should be subsidising foreign competitors to our own firms.”



joenice1 says...
6:52pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Well, I've all ready decided to vote UKIP next time. The EU is a big joke, bet both ford and Turkey are loving it, with some **** just gives them money like that.

Part of me would wonder what they would think if I took a big chunk of there own money, and gave it to someone else so they can train to then take his job!

PS Never voted UKIP before!

Huffter says...
7:14pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Must be mad to invest in a Turkey Factory - look what happened to Bernard Matthews.

Linesman says...
7:25pm Thu 8 Nov 12

"European bank bosses have claimed they were clueless."

I don't think that anyone would disagree with that conclusion.

Of course, our government has also made a multi-million pound grant to Ford.

I wonder whether they will also admit that they were clueless, which would confirm the suspicions of many.

georgetheseventh says...
8:02pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Will you Hamptons 'ever' stop moaning ?

commonsence says...
8:20pm Thu 8 Nov 12

If no-one buys the vans from Turkey they will just rot on the quayside. Let them stay there . There are plenty of other makes to buy.

Inform Al says...
8:27pm Thu 8 Nov 12

commonsence wrote:
If no-one buys the vans from Turkey they will just rot on the quayside. Let them stay there . There are plenty of other makes to buy.
We will need to boycott firms using newly registered transits, I'm up for it.

Bob Richards says...
9:28pm Thu 8 Nov 12

I don't understand how the European Investment Bank granted money to an American firm to build a factory outside Europe and close one within. But then I should not be surprised Osborne doesn't appear to have much sense at all, how they can continue giving child benefit to families with an income of £98,000 yet stop/reduce it for those with a single earner bringing in £50000 doesn't make any sense, maybe he can't add up !

G0Rf says...
9:30pm Thu 8 Nov 12

I wont be buying transits when its time to renew my vans next year.
Vauxhall Vivaro i thnk!

Cyber__Fug says...
7:12am Fri 9 Nov 12

Inform Al wrote:
commonsence wrote:
If no-one buys the vans from Turkey they will just rot on the quayside. Let them stay there . There are plenty of other makes to buy.
We will need to boycott firms using newly registered transits, I'm up for it.
I hardly think that a couple of dozen people from the Southampton area is going to make much of a dent in Fords production.

10 Minute Man says...
7:59am Fri 9 Nov 12

Why stop at boycotting the vans ? Why not avoid all Ford cars ?

At least this is a loan, and not a freebie bung like the UK gave them.

And the idea they are clueless about Ford's plans is laughable - wouldn't you ask a few questions if making a load for 80million ?

I'm sure the remaining Transit buyers will look forward to much cheaper vehicles now that it costs less to make them. Wonder who will be brave enough to take the first ones off the production line as the new factory learns how to make them when you don't have 40 years of experience behind you.

madmike says...
11:56am Fri 9 Nov 12

They say they knew nothing about Southampton plant closure . I say they a bunch of lying bxxxxxxs. I don't believe a word of what they say.

localnews says...
12:48pm Fri 9 Nov 12

georgetheseventh wrote:
Will you Hamptons 'ever' stop moaning ?
expect no different from a Scouser,you've spent years taking the wheels off vans so we should understand I suppose

pitielbasani says...
7:42pm Fri 9 Nov 12

So, the geniuses at the EU claim there is no link between their massive loan to Ford's Turkish plant and the companies decision to close its Southampton plant. Obviously these people are grossly over paid as myself, everything but an economist can see the link.

So, do the electorate now see the truth about the great value of being in the EU?

It's time to quit this communistic farce.

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