France Expects A400M Deal Next Week

French Defense Ministry says it can ‘reasonably expect’ a deal next week between seven countries and EADS to resolve a financial dispute over the Airbus military transport plane.

PARIS (AP) -- France says it can "reasonably expect" a deal next week between seven countries and European defense contractor EADS to resolve a financial dispute over the Airbus A400M military transport plane.

French Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire says France hopes a general deal will emerge on the sidelines of a European Union defense ministers' meeting in Mallorca, Spain next Wednesday.

Governments had earlier made proposals to EADS, and Teisseire said Thursday that France had received responses from EADS "that go in a favorable direction."

EADS and the governments that ordered the four-propeller plane have been haggling over who will pay for billions in cost overruns and technical problems that have put the program almost four years behind schedule.

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