January 2012        

Our European “partners” moving up the arms league


Germany has now become the world’s third-largest arms exporter. And among the customers for expensive arms supplies are the indebted countries of the southern euro zone, such as Portugal and Greece, which, already deep in a crisis, were offered and accorded hundreds of millions of euros’ worth of arms deliveries in 2010.
     Germany still exports the majority of its arms products to the NATO countries. In 2010 it was above all indebted countries in the southern euro zone that were buying German combat material. Greece paid €403 million for German submarines, and Portugal even €812 million to German companies. In spite of drastic cuts in its social budget, Spain also owes more than €76 million for war material. The submarines had been ordered a few years ago, approved by the SPD-Green coalition government (1998–2005).
     Even though the crisis had struck the southern euro economies, Berlin again authorised voluminous exports in 2010.
     For example Portugal, while it is introducing stringent austerity measures, is again ordering combat material worth more than €811 million, Spain seeks to buy arms for €84 million, Italy will pay nearly €184 million for contracts approved last year, and Greece nearly €36 million.
     Alongside the German arms industry’s plunder of southern euro countries, it must be noted that even the US war machine is being supported by German exports. In 2010 alone the German government had authorised the export to the United States of more than €600 million worth of arms.
[CMK]

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