Europe's proposed satellite-navigation system, Galileo, will need more public funds if it is to be built. Hope is receding that a private consortium asked to run the system can end its infighting and meet a 10 May deadline to move the project forward. This is likely to mean European taxpayers stepping in to cover costs. German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee, speaking on behalf of the EU, said: "Galileo is going through a deep and grave crisis." He added: "We're in a dead end street. The cardinal problem is that the companies still have not been able to agree on the way forward. We need to find an alternative solution."
The consortium comprises leading aerospace and telecom concerns: EADS, Thales, Inmarsat, Alcatel-Lucent, Finmeccanica, AENA, Hispasat, and TeleOp. The European Commission (EC) set the May deadline for them to come forward with a single company structure to run Galileo, a chief executive and common negotiating position. But with little sign of the target being met to the Commission's satisfaction, the EC is now expected to present new proposals to overhaul the project on 16 May. "Our view is that the current scenario to put Galileo into place cannot work," said Michele Cercone, spokesman for the EC's directorate general for transport.