Let the Franco-Prussian War of the 21st Century begin (and the best man will probably be Boeing, winning):
BERLIN — Germany's economy minister pledged Wednesday that his government will do all it can to protect Airbus sites in the country and ensure that the burdens of a restructuring drive are divided fairly.
Airbus parent EADS' announcement of a further delay to the flagship A380 superjumbo and a cost-cutting drive was followed by concerns in Germany that production work could be moved to France, putting jobs at risk.
Economy Minister Michael Glos said the German government "will work with all its strength for the German sites."
Meanwhile, Jacques Chirac laid down covering fire from Paris:
PARIS, Oct 11, 2006 (AFP) - The sole objective for Airbus is to "correct structural faults" that have been responsible for the difficulties plaguing the aircraft manufacturer, a source close to French President Jacques Chirac said Wednesday.
"The sole and unique objective is to correct the structural faults to allow delays (in deliveries) to be overcome," the source said.
While the Russians remained coyly neutral:
Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a visit to the southern German state of Bavaria, meanwhile held out the prospect of increased Russian investment in EADS.
But Bavarian premier Edmund Stoiber played down Russia's designs on the company, whose German arm is based in Bavaria.
"In certain strategic sectors of the economy there are some limits to mutual participation," he said.