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Trends-Tendances - Belgium | Wednesday, January 13, 2016

VW chief prefers incompetence to dishonesty

Asked on Monday in an interview with the US radio station NPR whether Volkswagen's behaviour in the emissions scandal was morally correct, the company's new boss Matthias Müller reacted with incomprehension. Rightly so, the business magazine Trends-Tendances approves: "In Europe we've seen the same sort of defence in the banking sector where former CEOs prefer to come across as incompetent if it means avoiding being charged with embezzlement. … You can be shocked by his response, or you can remember that VW has a Sword of Damocles hanging over its head in the United States. While some are talking about a 20 billion dollar fine, others are citing figures as high as 50 billion. Bearing in mind the amounts at stake, it's clear that the new boss's defence strategy will focus on misunderstandings, and certainly not on deliberate lies. Which explains his contortions when facing the American media. Admit guilt, yes. But admit that one has lied, no."

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