French press understands Airbus crisis plan

1st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - France's national press on Thursday expressed understanding for a crisis plan unveiled a day earlier by European aircraft maker Airbus, which involved 10,000 job cuts and a timetable for slashing its factory network,

PARIS, March 1, 2007 (AFP) - France's national press on Thursday expressed understanding for a crisis plan unveiled a day earlier by European aircraft maker Airbus, which involved 10,000 job cuts and a timetable for slashing its factory network,

In an editorial, the left-leaning Liberation pointed to the need to match efforts by US rival Boeing.

"The arch-rival Boeing, once unsettled by competition from Europe, has carried out a thorough review of its industrial model. The results of its purge are beginning to be felt," it said.

On Wednesday, Airbus said it planned to axe jobs across Europe in the next four years, with 4,300 jobs cut in France, 3,700 in Germany, 1,600 in Britain and 400 in Spain.

The economic daily La Tribune said that for the new boss of Airbus, Louis Gallois, "the exercise was an extremely dangerous one," but the move "will, in the eyes of observers, be seen as in good faith once the legitimate feelings caused by the shock of the announcement have passed."

The communist newspaper L'Humanite also noted the challenge from Boeing, writing of the necessity to "bring Airbus' management into line with that of Boeing for an increased profitability."

The conservative Le Figaro for its part called on the manufacturer to "follow things to their logical conclusion" by "throwing out shareholders who have become a burden and useless, and attract others, who are concerned to invest in what remains, in spite of appearances, one of the most attractive European enterprises."

Airbus is owned by EADS, which is controlled by French shareholders media group Lagardere and the French state, together owning 22.5 percent, and German shareholder car maker DaimlerChrysler, which also holds 22.5 percent.

Almost immediately after unveiling its strategy, workers in three factories in Germany downed tools, foreshadowing what is expected to be a bitter struggle between the company and labour organisations.

Copyright AFP

Subject French news

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