Germany: Pax Christi Germany releases media statement calling Germany's arms exports "simply catastrophic"
from Pax Christi Germany
20/6/18 - The following is a statement to the media from Pax Christi Germany.
"2015, 2016 and 2017 will be the years of renewed negative records for arms exports in the economic history of the Federal Republic of Germany," emphasises Jürgen Grässlin, campaign spokesman and federal spokesman of the DFG/VK. "Never before has a federal government approved so many individual exports around the world. Among the beneficiary countries, there were numerous human rights and belligerent countries in 2017 - notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey! The overall balance of the past grand coalition of the CDU/CSU and SPD and the leadership of Chancellor Merkel and the Federal Ministers of Economics Gabriel and Zypries is quantitatively - in terms of volume and qualitatively measured by the recipient countries in crisis and war zones - simply catastrophic. Also in 2017, the Federal Government has contributed with their arms export permits to the mutilation and death of countless people by the German war weapons in the recipient countries."
"What is needed is an effective arms export control law to stop such highly and politically questionable arms exports," comments Christine Hoffmann, the Campaign spokeswoman and pax christi secretary-general. She explains: "The new report of the Federal Government contributes to the transparency of the contradictions between the Political Principles of the Federal Government on arms exports and the actual licensing practice. The third highest approval values for 2017 (€ 6.24 billion) after the negative record years of 2015 (€ 7.86 billion) and 2016 (€ 6.85 billion) do not deserve the term restrictive arms export policy. The indications of the Federal Government regarding the significance of the recipient countries with regard to the amount and the number of permits also reveal further contradictions: the grand shipment to Algeria contradicts the principle, the human rights situation in the recipient country and the existence of internal violent conflicts in the country as well as the regional security situation. For in Algeria there are internal violent conflicts, the human rights situation is considered very bad, the regional security situation is very critical. Equally disastrous is the delivery of a submarine to Egypt due to the same poor human rights situation, internal violent conflicts and very critical regional security. Again, the monetary approval value for exports to third countries is 3.79 billion euros higher than within the EU and NATO for 2.45 billion euros, even though the principles stipulate that exports to other countries in particular are restrictive must be handled."