A £30bn talk for Merkel and Hollande

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Ostensibly, they met to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a landmark speech by Charles de Gaulle to the youth of Germany. But yesterday's talks between the French President François Hollande, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel were thought to be dominated by the proposed £30bn merger of Britain's BAE Systems and pan-European Airbus owner EADS and the eurozone crisis.

Advisers on both sides of the deal believe the companies have more or less settled on the details of a proposal that under takeover rules must be firmed up next month.

But a source close to EADS concedes the chances of the merger going through are down "to the governments getting into good shape with each other" as they look to secure their national interests.