• France's news in English

Rousseff tells Hollande: no fighter decision yet

AFP · 12 Dec 2012, 09:49

Published: 12 Dec 2012 09:49 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We have pushed back the choice... and this will take some time depending on how long it takes the Brazilian economy to recover," Rousseff said at a joint press conference with her French counterpart François Hollande.

Brazil is looking to buy 36 multi-purpose jets to modernise its air force in a contract valued at between $4 billion and $7 billion.

The Rafale fighter, built by French firm Dassault Aviation, is up against the US aviation giant Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Swedish manufacturer Saab's Gripen.

Brazil, which boasts the world's sixth-largest economy, began considering buying a new fighter model several years ago, but Rousseff said the government had postponed making a decision in the face of a sharp economic slowdown.

The Brazilian economy rose 2.7 percent last year, sharply down from a sizzling 7.5 percent in 2010.

"We are waiting for growth at a higher rate that will permit us to make this project a priority again," said Rousseff.

She said there were signs that growth was picking up "but we still have to be careful about extraordinary expenditures".

Brazil posted 0.6 percent growth in the third quarter after stagnating with 0.1 percent growth in the first quarter and 0.2 percent in the second.

In late September, a senior Brazilian government official told AFP on condition of anonymity there would be no decision on the contract before next year.

He dismissed suggestions that Brazil, which is currently experiencing sluggish economic growth, already favoured a particular plane.

The early favourite was the Rafale, but Brasilia finds it too expensive and has been pressing for a better price. Paris has offered full technology transfers in its bid to win the contract.

Story continues below…

Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet is cheaper, but Brazilian officials are wary of Washington's possible use of technology restrictions.

Hollande emphasised that France was willing to share technology in order to clinch the first foreign sale of the fighter that is the mainstay of the French airforce and was used in the NATO air campaign against former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's regime.

"We have always wanted transfers," said the French president. "That is the method we have selected."

Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, publicly expressed his preference for the Rafale in 2009, but since taking office in January 2011 Rousseff has repeatedly pushed back taking a decision.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available