Airbus has a Problemchen (little problem). But first I want to talk about Chen and Lein.

No, Chen and Lein aren’t popular Chinese food dishes here in Germany. These are diminutive little diminutive word endings. The suffixes –chen and –lein are placed on nouns to indicate someone or something small or endearing. You know, like how we say munchkin whenever we refer to a small munch. They’re crazy about these diminutives over here, too. Despite the fact the Germans themselves are often quite big and scary-looking, many of them being well over eight feet in height. Maybe that’s why they like diminutives so much.

Anyway, one often hears them referring to their Häuschen (little house) and their Hündchen (little dog) who has a Frauchen (female master) and always gets the rest of her Würschten (little sausage) after she and her husband have had their Käffchen (coffee). Well, at least I’m always hearing conversations like this. And I could have interchanged the –lein with the –chen on most of these, by the way. Nobody would have batted an eye. And if you happen to be from a more “quaint” region of Germany, like someplace called Bavaria for instance, you will often hear the diminutives –l or –erl instead. A Bisschen (a little bit as in a little bite) is actually a Bissl there, for example. And a Mädchen is a Mädl there, too. But only during the week, I think.

So why am I telling you all of this? I’ve completely forgotten. No, now I have it again. Airbus has a Problemchen. Not only are Old Europe bosom buddies France and Germany currently at each other’s throats over EADS’ inability to spit out the miraculous “Power8” Airbus restructuring plan (which it obviously doesn’t have yet), German Airbus stockholders are so pissed off at the moment that they are actually considering the feasibility of breaking up the company’s current structure – or lack of it.

“The money supposed to be saved by Power8 is crucial to the survival of Airbus. With its cash flow languishing (undelivered 380s bring in no cash), and its cost structure inflated by the high value of the euro relative to the dollar, the company urgently needs the savings in order to have the funds necessary to develop the A 350XWB, a next-generation airliner needed to compete with Boeing’s wildly successful 787 Dreamliner.” (Source: The American Thinker)
And being the good bad American that I am, I can’t help but feel a little Schadenfreude when reading these lines. Opps, I mean Schadenfreudchen.

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