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Business

Report: French Government Offers Airbus, EADS Billion-Euro Aid

The French government will provide aircraft manufacturer Airbus and its parent company, EADS, with 5 billion euros ($6.48 billion) in aid, the business daily Les Echos reported on Monday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, shakes hand with Airbus chairman Louis Gallois

Sarkozy's government offer 5 billion euros in aid to Louis Gallois' Airbus and EADS

The money, which will be issued in dollars, is to be used to help cash-strapped airlines honor their orders for Airbus aircraft and other EADS products, the daily said, citing Finance Ministry experts.

According to the report, the newly created Company for the Refinancing of the French Economy (SFEF) is to provide 7 billion euros to the banking system, obliging the banks to use the funds to support export contracts.

Of the total amount, 5 billion euros will be specifically earmarked to aid Airbus and EADS clients pay for their orders.

The same measure could be taken by other European nations with a stake in Airbus, such as Germany, Spain and Britain, the daily said.

Airbus head Thomas Enders said earlier this month that 2009 was likely to be a "horrible" year for the company, a year in which the number of orders would fall below the number of aircraft delivered for the first time since 2003.

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