About 4,300 of the job cuts are planned in France, where the restructuring plan has caused uproar among workers and prompted leading presidential candidates to call for state assistance.

 

The plan announced last week seeks to shed 10,000 staff and sell or close six plants around Europe.

 

State capital

 

Thierry Breton, French finance minister, said on Tuesday that the state would possibly participate in any capital increase by EADS, Airbus parent company.

 

Breton, who is also economy minister in the centre-right government, said on France Inter radio: "I hope that there will be an increase in capital."

 

If the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) decided to make an issue of shares "the state will follow", he said.

 

Breton's comments come after Dominique de Villepin, France's prime minister, had said that the state was "ready to participate, with other shareholders, in any increase of capital which EADS judged to be necessary".

 

The EADS parent company is struggling to survive the fallout from a two-year delay to the Airbus A380 superjumbo, with some customers cancelling their orders for the aircraft.

 

The weaker US dollar has also affected the company's profitability.