Spotted a peculiar and tendentious article on WebWereld (Dutch only), which suggests that Karl-Heinz Streibich of Software AG said that the (proprietary) software industry needs direct financial support. There's no direct quote, though. The closest thing to a direct quote is the call for a "clear strategy" in Europe to strengthen the software industry.

I'm sure the Free Software world can come up with some good suggestions there. Skill building? Local autonomy? Escape from vendor lock in? All solutions for strengthening the European software industry at all levels and obtaining better software and promoting cooperation between public sector organizations.

I have not seen this mentioned elsewhere, so it may just be lousy sensationalist reporting.

Now, there is an EU software strategy being formulated. It tries to bring together the viewpoints of various parties on what to do with software. LinuxJournal does a nice piece on it, highlighting the tensions between the EU itself, real Free Software organisations like the FSFE, and proprietary software companies.