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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Sarkozy hints at Airbus bail-out
Nicolas Sarkozy on a visit to Airbus
Nicolas Sarkozy has made Airbus a priority for his presidency
New French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has raised the prospect of state aid for Airbus, but said he eventually plans to sell the government's stake.

The French state owns 15% of Airbus' parent company EADS.

President Sarkozy said that the government would do "its duty" as a shareholder if EADS decided to raise fresh capital.

Yet the President added that he aimed "to put the state's stake on the market", once the firm has recovered.

The comments helped boost the value of shares in EADS and the stock closed 3.3% to 23.5 euros in Paris.

Job cuts

EADS is in the process of cutting 10,000 jobs at its plants and suppliers to save money following delays and cost over-runs to its A380 super-jumbo project.

President Sarkozy said he would return to Airbus in July with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

State aid from either of them would be controversial under European Union rules, and likely lead to protests from Airbus' main rival, US planemaker Boeing.

President Sarkozy came to power promising industrial reforms to make France more competitive, but he has a history of state intervention to safeguard jobs.




SEE ALSO
Sarkozy set to meet Airbus unions
17 May 07 |  Business
EADS results hit by super-jumbo
10 May 07 |  Business
Further strike over Airbus cuts
03 Apr 07 |  Business
Aeroflot contract to boost Airbus
15 Mar 07 |  Business

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