Berlin wants Franco-German balance kept at EADS

19th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN, May 19 (AFP) - The German government insisted Thursday that a "certain balance of power" must be maintained within the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company.

BERLIN, May 19 (AFP) - The German government insisted Thursday that a "certain balance of power" must be maintained within the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company.  

Nevertheless, Berlin said it would not get involved in the current tug-of-war at the helm of EADS.  

"Germany and France are not only the main shareholders, but they're also the ones who created the company and breathed life into it.

There must be some sort of balance," Ditmar Staffelt, state secretary in the economy ministry, told AFP in an interview.   

"There are shareholders with equal weighting in Germany and France. And the parties are naturally interested in seeing this weight adequately reflected not only in the company's activities, but also in its management," Staffelt said.  

A leadership crisis broke out at EADS last week after the aerospace giant's board of directors postponed at the annual general meeting in Amsterdam the official appointment of Noel Forgeard - currently chief executive at subsidiary Airbus - and Thomas Enders as its new co-CEOs.

The decision was delayed until June 1.  

The French and German shareholders, who each hold a 30 percent stake in EADS, have been unable to agree on the appointment of a successor to Forgeard at Airbus and on the national distribution of power within the group.   

Nevertheless, the German government said it would not get involved in the power struggle.  

"From a political point of view, we see no need to intervene at the moment," Staffelt said.

"The participants are strong enough to come up with a solution themselves. It shouldn't be over-politicised," the state secretary said.   

And he believed a decision would be reached soon.   

"The best is for the personal constellation to be completed soon. Then calm will return to the situation, I'm sure," Staffelt said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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