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Germany calls for job safety, European balance at troubled EADS

Germany calls for job safety, European balance at troubled EADS

German officials urged Airbus parent EADS on Wednesday to secure jobs at its German operations and ensure that restructuring efforts respect the company's delicate European balance.
Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck's call came after EADS confirmed a further one-year delay to the Airbus A380 superjumbo on Tuesday. The company also announced a restructuring plan to cut costs and boost productivity at Airbus.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement that Steinbrueck urged EADS "to ensure in the current restructuring measures that these must not take place at the expense of jobs in Germany."
Steinbrueck also argued that "the European balance of the company with regards to production and the available jobs must not be changed to the disadvantage of Germany," it added.
Germany's economy minister, Michael Glos, plans to meet Thursday with Airbus CEO Christian Streiff to hear details of the company's plans.
Glos said he expected Airbus to stick to "the commitments made to the German side in connection with the development and production of the A380" and echoed Steinbrueck's call for "balanced" restructuring.
French financial daily La Tribune reported this week that EADS plans to announce drastic production changes that would see the closure of A380 cabin-fitting, paintshop and delivery centers in Hamburg, Germany, and the transfer of their workloads to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France _ saving on transportation time and costs.
In return, Germany's share of the production of the A320 single-aisle jet family would be increased, according to the unsourced report.
EADS divides board and management posts scrupulously between the French shareholders _ the government and Lagardere SCA _ and Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG, which holds a 22.5 percent stake.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported this week that German politicians are discussing whether the government should buy a stake in EADS if DaimlerChrysler sells all or part of its holding.
Without citing sources, Der Spiegel reported that state-owned bank KfW could buy the EADS shares with privatization proceeds.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Ulrich Wilhelm, said the German government "sees a leading role for private investors in the future too."
"The question of a participation by KfW is a theoretical possibility, but not a solution that is currently being pursued," he added. He declined to elaborate.


Updated : 2021-08-03 19:08 GMT+08:00