TeleAtlas CEO sees Galileo going ahead with delay

May 16, 2007

de-taeye.jpgThe CEO of digital mapmaker TeleAtlas expects the European Union’s Galileo project, designed to be a rival to the U.S. GPS system, to go ahead, albeit with further delays, he told Reuters journalists in Paris. Alain de Taeye said he was a “big fan” of Galileo, which has been held up by the kind of squabbles between EU countries that typify such European ventures as well as a dispute about who will pay the bills for the 3.4 billion-euro project. “Galileo today is encountering a lot of problems that are typical in getting Europeans to agree,” he said. The EU is asking for public funds of 2.4 billion euros to complete the project, originally meant to be part-funded by public-private partnerships, after the companies meant to build it balked at the costs and risks involved. He said the European initiative to build a GPS rival had been a factor in Bill Clinton’s decision to unscramble GPS, which was built for U.S. military use, in 2000. The decision to unscramble could have come earlier but was delayed by the first Iraq war, de Taeye said. “That delayed the whole of our industry,” he said.

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