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April 21, 2017

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Airbus mistakes Austria for Australia

AUSTRIA and Australia are 16,000 kilometers and two keystrokes apart, as European aircraft maker Airbus discovered to its chagrin this week.

The Financial Times, citing fine print in the company’s 2016 financial accounts, said on Monday that Airbus was being investigated by authorities in Australia for offenses such as bribery or fraud.

The Airbus accounts did indeed say Australia, but a company spokesman said that was a typographical error.

“It should read Austria and not Australia,” he said.

In February, Airbus said prosecutors in Vienna had initiated a formal criminal investigation against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium over alleged fraud related to a US$2 billion order for the combat jet more than a decade ago.

The typo in the Airbus accounts is the latest in a series of mix-ups between the two similarly named but culturally distinct and geographically distant countries.

Global news network CNN was mocked by Twitter users last year for reporting Australia was building a fence on its Slovenian border.

In 2014, then United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mistakenly offered his gratitude to hosts Australia when he spoke at a conference in Vienna, according to an Associated Press report.


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