Monday, March 5, 2007

Airbus flies into election politics

Airbus's new restructuring plan, which would entail cutting 10,000 European jobs (4300 French), has taken a prime role in the election over the past few days. All candidates have attempted to appear concerned, and today begin a flurry of meetings to "resolve" the crisis.

Segolene Royal, will meet this morning with fellow regional leaders, and then tomorrow with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has criticized the move, but because France's "power to intervene is curtailed by a shareholder pact, which was drawn up by a French Socialist government" she has been unable to really criticize the current government, and link it to Sarkozy.

Francois Bayrou, who it appears can do no wrong, said yesterday that "European governments should do more to support the company" and is meeting with Airbus unions today.

Sarkozy first tried to play down the incident, and reaffirmed his position against state interference. However, as this has played out, he is taken a more nuanced tone, hoping to prevent this event from playing into the hands of Royal and Bayrou.

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