The Volkswagen Law is doing its best impression of Lazarus -- or perhaps a better analogy would be whack-a-mole. The European Court and minority VW shareholder Porsche keep trying to kill it, but it keeps popping up. Now the German government has agreed on an altered VW law -- but one that still gives the state of Lower Saxony, with it's 20.1-percent holding, blocking minority power.
The government runaround appears to hinge on the fact that the EU Court, in striking down the law, specifically cited the "20-percent cap on shareholder voting rights" as cause for striking down the VW Law. So the German government scrapped that, but retained the part where important decisions would need more than 80-percent of shareholders' approval. Which means Lower Saxony stays in control.
With VW keeping about 150,000 people in jobs, it's understandable that the state government is trying to stay in the saddle. A German Justice Ministry spokesman said "We believe our draft law is compatible with European law." An EU Court spokesman said, "The Commission expects that all three provisions and therefore the blocking minority as well will be abolished in order to implement the court's judgment." One of those two parties is eventually going to end up eating its words.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]