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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Paris wants quick Airbus decision
French finance ministry Thierry Breton (left) and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin (right) in the French Parliament
French ministers are under pressure over the problems at EADS
French ministers want a solution to the management crisis at Airbus' parent company - triggered by delays to its A380 plane - within days.

Officials said they expected a decision on possible changes to the management structure at Franco-German firm EADS by Tuesday at the latest.

French finance minister Thierry Breton has been holding discussions with the firm's shareholders over the weekend.

Management has been criticised for its handling of news about the A380 delay.

'Intense negotiations'

The six-month slippage in the plane's delivery schedule could cost Airbus up to 2bn euros in lost earnings.

Co-chief executive Noel Forgeard is under particular pressure after he and other executives sold shares in EADS weeks before the production problems first came to light in April.

This is a decisive weekend for the future of the group
French finance ministry spokesman

Mr Forgeard has strenuously denied accusations of insider trading but French stock market regulators are investigating movements in EADS shares in recent months.

Mr Breton is meeting with executives from Daimler Chrysler and Lagardere, two of EADS leading shareholders, amid speculation about an imminent overhaul of the firm's management structure.

New structure?

EADS has dual chief executives and chairmen to represent its French and German interests, an arrangement which critics say is inefficient.

The French government, which owns 15% of EADS, is under pressure to streamline management and raise confidence in the firm's direction.

It is thought that it could propose a new structure in which a single German chief executive works alongside a French chairman.

"This is a weekend of intense Franco-German negotiations," a spokesman for the French finance ministry said of developments regarding EADS.

"This is a decisive weekend for the future of the group."




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