BERLIN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Germany wants a bigger say in future Airbus projects, Germany’s economy minister said on Wednesday, months after Berlin acquired a direct stake in Airbus’s parent company for the first time.
“It is the goal of the government that the German aviation industry can take on a leading role in future Airbus programmes,” Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said.
After years of uneasy cohabitation, France and Germany agreed late last year to control 12 percent each of EADS , Airbus’s parent, after plans for a $45 billion merger to form the world’s largest aerospace and defence group fell apart.
Until then, parity in EADS - born from a merger of French, German and Spanish interests - had been ensured through a shareholder pact between the French state, the French media-to-aerospace group Lagardere and the German automobile giant Daimler AG.
Germany does not want important Airbus projects to be centred solely in Toulouse, the southwestern French city where Airbus is based.
“The successor programme to today’s A320 family in particular is important for German locations. Even though this programme will only enter the market in the next decade, the conditions for it must already be set today, both at Airbus and the supplier industry,” the Free Democratic minister said in a statement.
The previous shareholder pact had been blamed for making the company too political and tying the hands of its management. (Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Mark Heinrich)