Tensions between the German government and Airbus peaked when the country blocked plans to merge EADS and BAE Systems in 2012. But nothing creates a sense of unity as much as a foreign threat—in this case, state support for Boeing. Only a few months ago Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders, in particular, found it tough to even talk to people that had just destroyed his dream of creating a European aerospace and defense powerhouse. He could not resist pointing out that the more than 5,000 job ...

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