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Fate of Airbus A400M hangs in balance news
29 January 2010

Berlin: European inter-governmental talks, aimed at resolving a long festering row over additional funding for the Airbus A-400M military transport aircraft, have ended without results, with partner nations offering an extra $2.8 billion in funding for the delayed programme. This is only about a third of the money that EADS, the parent of aircraft manufacturer Airbus, wants.

A400M in German Luftwaffe colours
The European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co (EADS) asked for 6.4 billion euros at the Berlin talks this week, according to the German parliament's daily bulletin. The request is over and above the 20 billion euros in fixed costs already agreed upon for the delivery of 180 planes, the bulletin said.

The bulletin quoted German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg as saying that the EADS demand was ''without foundation.'' The minister was addressing a closed-doors meeting of the budget committee in Berlin.

Guttenberg informed the committee he was willing to negotiate further for the aircraft provided EADS made a new offer. According to the bulletin, Guttenberg said the plane was ''without alternative.''

The next meeting is scheduled for 2 February in Berlin.

Germany, the UK and France are among seven partner nations that are trying to negotiate an acceptable agreement which will see EADS adequately compensated for cost overruns resulting from an improperly negotiated original contract.

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Fate of Airbus A400M hangs in balance