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Airbus A400M partner nations unable to settle argument news
25 February 2010

European governments were unable to resolve arguments amongst themselves over extending 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in export credits to Airbus parent company, the European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co.'s (EADS) for continued development of the seven-nation joint venture A400M military transport plane.

Airbus A400M ''Not all countries have taken a stand,'' French defence minister, Herve Morin, told reporters after a meeting of European defence ministers in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. In particular, he said, ''budgetary'' reasons made Britain a reluctant partner.

Defence ministers from the Europe will meet again on 8 March after reviewing EADS's response to the terms on offer.

Even as a deadline to bail out the project lapsed today, Spanish defence minister, Carme Chacon, yesterday announced ''the principles of an agreement.'' Today, he mentioned a ''definitive agreement in the next few weeks.''

Spain would be particularly concerned about the fate of the programme as the assembly line of the aircraft is located in this country, at Seville.
France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey are the partner nations involved in the project.

''The UK remains fully committed to A400M but not at any cost,'' the UK defence ministry said in a statement today.

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Airbus A400M partner nations unable to settle argument