Qioptiq logo Raytheon


By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE

21 Jun 06. Seasoned BATTLESPACE readers will remember the speech made by Michael (later Lord) Heseltine M.P. in his most combative days at the House when he made his keynote speech as Industry Minister, after he had brandished the mace during a House debate!

“I will intervene on Monday, I will intervene on Tuesday, I will intervene…..’
Late readers will remember that Mrs Thatcher intervened to set him up after his intervention in the Westland crisis and he had to resign! At that resignation where the Editor was present, Michael Evans of the Times asked Mr Heseltine, “Whether, in view of the suddenness of his departure, that he was set up by the Prime Minister?”

“That’s a very good question and that’s a very good answer!” he replied and left the stage.

On 21 June, the BBC reported that France may intervene over Airbus. The fear is that production delays will push buyers to Airbus’ rivals.

The French government has said it will “take all necessary steps” to resolve the Airbus production delays that have been blighting its parent company EADS. These “steps” include a possible revision of the Franco-German pact that prevents state interference in Airbus.

Statements that the French Government is due to intervene in the Airbus sapt will only reawaken with groans in industry a process that will only cause to ignite current rumbling tensions between the French and German owners of EADS when the problems that have arsien can only be solved within the company by a process of streamlining a creaking and unnecessarily complex supply chain. One only had to wonder at the supply chain developed by JCB, as seen this week, that sokving complex supply management chains leads to improved productivity and delivery. Also it is noticed, that in spite of insider claims M. Forgeard clings to his job. Could there be a Clearstream connection in all ofnthis? No doubt thre reason for the French Government intervention is so that they can produce a paper that lays blame on the Germans!

The German side reacted by the BBC report that Mr Enders admits there is currently a crisis at EADS.

The joint boss of aerospace group EADS has acknowledged that the current difficulties surrounding both it and its Airbus unit constitute a crisis.

Tom Enders was speaking after a week in which it was announced that the Airbus A380 superjumbo would be delayed, and EADS was hit by insider trading claims. The claims arose after it emerged Mr Enders’s fellow EADS boss Noel Forgeard off-loaded shares in the firm in March. Mr Forgeard insists he sold the shares before he knew of delays to the A380. He said that the first he knew of the problems was in April, and that at the time he and other executives were convinced the difficulties could, and would, be rectified.

Mr Forgeard, who was one of six executives to exercise their share options, said he had done nothing wrong and would not be resigning.

On June 2oth, the FT reported that Dominique de Villepin’s position as prime minister appeared increasingly uncertain on Tuesday as the crisis at EADS spiralled into an affair of state, prompting a vitriolic exchange in the National Assembly and a walkout by the opposition Socialists. Mr de Villepin lashed out at Socialist leader François Hollande, accusing him of cowardice for demanding that the government state publicly whether it supported Noël Forgeard, the controversial French co-chief executive of EADS.

Mr de Villepin said: “Mr Hollande, I denounce the ease, and I would even say face-to-face, the cowardice, the cowardice of your position.” The prime minister had to be protected by parliamentary stewards as his comments prompted members of the Socialist party to advance on the government benches in protest. The National Assembly had to be suspended and Mr de Villepin was criticised severely by members of his own

Back to article list