The Spanish government, worried about jobs cuts from restructuring at Airbus, has said it wants the
state holding company SEPI to raise the country’s stake in the troubled planemaker’s parent EADS. The economy ministry said: “Spain would increase its shareholding if its decision-making capacity in the company is increased along with the work for the Spanish companies.”
After attending a meeting on the matter, union representative Ramon Gorriz said jobs must be protected: “This not only an industrial problem. This is also a political issue in which governments involved such as France, Germany and Spain should have an important participation.”
EADS Co-Chairman Manfred Bischoff says it would welcome a larger Spanish stake, but from private investors not from the state. SEPI says it has no plans to buy more shares. Currently it has 5.4% of EADS. Spanish government officials have said they would like to increase that to 10%. German carmaker DaimlerChrysler holds 22.5%. The French government owns 15% and French media group Lagardere 7.5%.
Louis Gallois – the man who has to implement the restructuring of Airbus – has the difficult task of making essential cutbacks without alienating the governments of Germany, France, Spain and Britain, where the company has plants. Analysts said that even if Spain increased its shareholding it will not be able to influence where the jobs are cut.