September 19, 2012
Credit: Credit: EADS Cassidian
The leaders of France and Germany will seek a common position at a series of meetings this week on a $45 billion defence merger that could involve them having to giving up strategic influence in aerospace group EADS.
After talks on a tie-up between EADS and Britain’s BAE Systems were leaked last week, government officials from across Europe have this week been setting out their views on the deal.
While no government has spoken out directly against the merger, and officials seem to see benefits in creating a company that would have far more weight on the world stage, there are concerns that too many demands from politicians could result in the deal being scrapped.
Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she planned to discuss the matter with French President Francois Hollande at a meeting on Saturday.
Sources had said there would already be preparatory high-level talks on Thursday and Friday. A “pre-decision” for a common position with France could be taken at these preparatory talks, one source said.
A combination of BAE and Airbus owner EADS would overtake U.S. rival Boeing as the world’s biggest aerospace and defence company in terms of sales.