Qatar and Unions “Hopping Mad.” Volkswagen Board: “No English, We Are German.”


Losing sympathies around the world through dieselgate cheating probably isn’t enough at Volkswagen AG. Now, the German automaker is doing everything in its power to alienate both stockholders and employees at the same time.

The Emirate of Qatar holds 17 percent of Volkswagen’s shares, which makes it the company’s third-largest shareholder, after the Porsche/Piech families, and the State of Lower Saxony. Qatar holds two of the 10 seats available on the capital side of Volkswagen’s Supervisory Board. However, the interesting decisions are being made in the board’s steering committee, and that’s where the Qatari have neither seat nor voice. Qatar wants to be admitted to that exclusive mens club, but found little enthusiasm for its desires. Officially, the matter is not pertinent, because none of the six seats in the steering committee are being vacated. Unofficially, the decision to keep the Qatari at arm’s length has been made, with one of the most threadbare arguments possible.

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