Chirac, Merkel agree to share Airbus production

12th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 12, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that restructuring at plane maker Airbus should be "distributed harmoniously" between plants at Hamburg in Germany and Toulouse in France, at the end of a Franco-German ministerial meeting.

PARIS, Oct 12, 2006 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that restructuring at plane maker Airbus should be "distributed harmoniously" between plants at Hamburg in Germany and Toulouse in France, at the end of a Franco-German ministerial meeting.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel then said that "France and Germany must remain on a equal footing" within EADS, the parent aerospace group behind Airbus.

Merkel also said her government had not decided whether to take a direct stake in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space company, while adding: "I'm not ruling anything out at present."

DaimlerChrysler owns 22.5 percent of EADS and has said it wants to reduce this to 15.0 percent.

The French state holds 15 percent of the shares in EADS. The French media group Lagardère owns 15 percent but is reportedly set to sell half.

The price of shares in EADS gained 2.81 percent to EUR 21.61, after Merkel spoke.

Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust had said earlier Thursday: "The government, and chancellor (Merkel) in particular, decided yesterday evening that the shares being put up for sale by DaimlerChrysler will be bought by Germany.

"It's certain that the shares will be bought. But the arrangements ... are still being drawn up," von Beust told a news conference held with new Airbus chief executive Louis Gallois.

Merkel also said that participation in EADS by the Russian state was not on the agenda, though the state-owned bank Vneshtorgbank acquired a 5.02 percent stake in September and Kremlin officials signalled that Russia could seek influence as a minority shareholder.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

0 Comments To This Article