The German government intends to follow France's lead and start issuing 50-year bonds, the finance ministry said on Friday. "It's an option that we're looking at," a ministry spokeswoman told AFP. So far, the maximum maturity on German government bonds has been 30 years, but Berlin has decided to examine even longer term issues following the success of France's 50-year bonds. The spokeswoman was confirming information contained in a report in the Friday edition of the Financial Times. The newspaper had said that Britain was also planning to unveil plans for a 50-year bond as part of Chancellor Gordon Brown's budget next week.