...And Things Get Even Uglier In French Parliament
We don't want to say
things have taken a turn for the worse in Toulouse... but it's
seldom a good thing when the police show up.
In the latest development in the increasingly bizarre saga
regarding who knew what, and when, about the latest delay to hit
Airbus's A380 program... Forbes reports that police raided Airbus
headquarters Monday night, seeking to establish whether management
knew of that delay before several executives at parent company EADS
sold off some of their stock in the European consortium.
Since the revelation of EADS co-CEO Noel Forgeard's stock sale
came to light late last week, there have been several calls for him
to resign his position... including the latest rumor, that "the
German side" of EADS -- automaker DaimlerChrysler -- has demanded
Forgeard (above, right), who is French, to step down.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for EADS stated he could "clearly" deny
those rumors... but several sources claim EADS has asked Forgeard
to stay out of the limelight for the time being, nonetheless.
The matter has even escalated to French parliament, with a
vitriolic exchange Tuesday in the National Assembly.
"...I denounce the ease, and I would even say face-to-face, the
cowardice, the cowardice of your position," French Prime Minister
Dominique de Villepin told Socialist leader Francois Hollande, over
Hollande's insistence that the French government state publicly
whether it supported Forgeard or not.
MSNBC reports that statement prompted Hollande and several of
his fellow party members to advance towards the government side of
the assembly... before they were stopped by parliamentary
Socialist party members later walked out in protest.