Chrysler Group LLC on Tuesday paid back $7.6 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans from its 2009 bailout, a move that allows the U.S. automaker to distance itself from an unpopular bailout and deepen its ties with Italian automaker Fiat SpA, Reuters said. At a suburban Detroit assembly plant where Chrysler builds the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger cars, hundreds of Chrysler workers marked the event by sporting red, white and blue buttons that read: “Paid. May 24, 2011,” the news service said. Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat, told the crowd: “We received confirmation this morning … that Chrysler Group repaid, with interest … every penny that had been loaned less than two years ago,” Reuters reported.

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