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Defence fusion flop 'won't harm German ties'

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Defence fusion flop 'won't harm German ties'
Photo: Dirk Vorderstraße
12:25 CEST+02:00
The collapse of the $45-billion defence merger between EADS and BAE Systems, widely blamed on German resistance, will not harm ties between Paris and Berlin, Germany's economy minister said Thursday.

"The failure of the merger between EADS and BAE systems does not weigh on the Franco-German friendship," Philipp Rösler told Friday's edition of business daily Handelsblatt.

"We will work as well and with the same amount of trust as before with our French partners," Rösler added.

After the deal crumbled, the chief executive of EADS, Tom Enders, said he was surprised by the level of resistance in Germany to the tie-up, which would have created the world's biggest aerospace group.

"Im ready to admit that we never expected to face such opposition against the deal, in particular not in Berlin," Enders said in a letter to employees obtained by AFP.

Analysts said Germany feared being sidelined after any such tie-up and was worried that jobs and factories could go with only one year until an election in Europe's top economy.

But in a separate interview, Rösler rejected accusations that Germany should be blamed for the botched tie-up attempt.

"The Federal government carried out discussions on an eventual merger in a constructive manner," the minister told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview also to be published Friday. 

"In the end, the governments concerned could not agree on the basis of what the companies were proposing," he said. Rösler added that the markets, that had sent the EADS share price plunging as soon as the merger attempt was revealed, clearly demonstrated that they "trusted EADS in its current form.

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