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Deal with Weak Dollar, Germany Tells Airbus

It is up to Airbus, not Germany, to assess what impact the weakness of the dollar against the euro has on the European planemaker's business prospects, the German Economy Ministry said on Friday.

"It's up to the company to assess the situation," a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters when asked whether the government agreed with Airbus chief executive Tom Enders, who said on Thursday the weak dollar was threatening the firm's survival.

"It's obvious that the euro exchange rate brings a certain cost pressure with it. That's a logical consequence. But otherwise the firm must assess its own situation itself."

Airbus is already shedding some 10,000 jobs and selling plants as part of a restructuring plan after delays to its A380 superjumbo drove the company into a loss last year. Airbus complains the weak dollar favors U.S. rival Boeing.

Workers at the firm, owned by European aerospace and defense group EADS, had to prepare for further major cost cuts to help counter the impact of the currency, Enders said.

The dollar slumped to a record low against the European single currency on Friday amid growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.

The German Economy Ministry said it had no comment on the euro's appreciation to nearly $1.50 on Friday.

"We never make statements on exchange rate changes," the ministry spokeswoman said. "There's an independent (European) central bank, which is the way it should be, and we don't make assessments of the developments. And we certainly don't make recommendations about monetary policy."

On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the euro could pose problems for German exports and that Germany was working internationally for currency rates to be balanced sensibly.

There are concerns that weaker global growth, particularly in the United States, will erode Germany's export potential, and the Finance Ministry said on Thursday that recent falls in German firms' export expectations may partly reflect this.

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