The Associated Press March 6, 2010, 6:26AM ET

Germany praises deal on financing of Airbus A400M

Germany's Defense Minister is praising the agreement on the financing of the troubled Airbus A400M military transport plane as "good news."

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told broadcaster MDR on Saturday the deal will close a gap in crucial military equipment and secure many jobs in the German industry.

The A400M is to replace Germany's aging fleet of Transall transport planes, whose increasing maintenance costs Guttenberg called "exorbitant."

"This is good news, especially as it helps secure many jobs," Guttenberg added.

The seven nations that ordered the A400M and manufacturer EADS struck a deal on the financing on Friday in Berlin.

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