Private companies interested in developing Galileo satellite project

Leading European high-tech companies have urged European governments to adopt the Galileo satellite network, although they refused to say how much they would invest in the project.

A group of eight European firms, including Thales, Eutelsat, Telespazio (Telecom Italia), Kongsberg Seatex, Septentrio and FDC agreed to a memorandum of understanding setting up a group of private companies to support the development of Galileo. The companies have joined forces to convince the EU transport ministers to give the final green light to the launch of the program at their meeting on 25 March.

After the go ahead given during the Barcelona Summit, Mr Jacques Chirac, France's President, stated that Galileo ensured that the EU "would not have to accept Europe's subjugation in space matters" to the US. EU countries currently use the US global positioning satellite system. The agreement in Barcelona on Galileo was made possible after the UK and the Netherlands withdrew their objections to the project.


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