A top executive at German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems played down expectations for an early creation of a Europe-wide shipbuilding group, along similar lines to European aerospace giant EADS. The possible partners in a naval EADS still had to "do their homework," the German firm's deputy chief, Susanne Wiegand, said on the sidelines of a congress organised by the business daily Handelsblatt. "I'm convinced that there will be a larger European alliance in the medium term. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems with its German, Swedish and Greek activities would be an ideal starting point," Wiegand said. "But the necessary conditions would have to be created first, including the transfer of European shipyards into private-sector structures, and an improvement and harmonisation of productivity." And she continued: "Only when all players have done their homework will we be ready to take the next step towards European consolidation."