UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has declared that France and Germany must reduce their stakes in defence firm EADS if the UK is to approve the proposed merger with BAE Systems. Concurrently, the German government has threatened to block the merger unless the new company is based in Munich. And at talks on Friday, Germany also requested a written undertaking from France that it would not increase its stake above 9% – that request was denied. Hammond has stated that the UK government would be willing to use its golden share in BAE, which allows it to block any change

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