Paris anger

Airbus scandal spoils Franco-German romance

Macron, Merkel, Airbus scandal
Talking about Airbus? Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron. Source: Reuters

The late German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer once quipped that the friendship between France and Germany is “like a rose bush that is constantly producing new blooms,” but he quickly added that “roses also have thorns.” Airbus, which makes jumbo jetliners and advanced military aviation, may become one of those prickly thorns.

A source close to French President Emmanuel Macron told Handelsblatt that Mr. Macron wants to exert more state influence over the company, in which both France and Germany have a 10-percent shareholding. The Spanish government also owns 5-percent of the shares in the company.

There has been no response so far from Chancellor Angela Merkel, but leaders of the parties she hopes to include in a new coalition government strongly disagreed with the French idea of letting politicians have more sway over the firm, whose share price has quadrupled since the company became free from government interference in 2013.

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