Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kill the Messenger?

The message will remain the same, it's bad news to mix politics and business:

PARIS, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) - New Airbus chief Louis Gallois cleared his predecessor's rescue plan for take-off on Tuesday but warned that months would be needed to streamline "baroque" practices behind the crisis.

Gallois was to meet Airbus managers two days before a Franco-German summit at which President Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to confront problems at Airbus, which some say has fallen victim to political pressure.

Meanwhile Christian Streiff, replaced by Gallois late Monday after just 100 days into his rescue mission, told the French newspaper Le Figaro that Airbus was still a European patchwork that "must become a real European enterprise".

....Gallois acknowledged that the management of EADS, which has dual chairmen and chief executives representing France and Germany, and production at Airbus was somewhat "baroque" and "a little complicated".

....Morgan Stanley analyst Eric Chaney commented in a research note that the plan, on which the future of the company depended, "has a name...but it does not have much substance".

The crisis was largely the result of "excessive political interference" he told AFP Tuesday.

Although governments might now have a short-term role to play, "to secure the long-term sustainability of this company, governments will progressively have to move out".

Otherwise, "the very future of the company could be jeopardised", his note warned.

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