• Germany's news in English
 

Germany 'plans to relax weapons export rules'

Published: 15 Jul 2012 14:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jul 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00

Two draft papers drawn up in the Economy Ministry would affect the biggest sectors of the German arms export industry, the magazine said.

The aim would be to “purge foreign trade law” and to “lift special German rules which disadvantage German exporters in comparison to their European competitors,” the papers said.

But a spokeswoman for the ministry said the report was wrong. She said the export of weapons would not be affected by the draft amendments to the export trade rules. Current rules affecting arms would remain in place, she said.

But Der Spiegel said the drafts would mean that exports between European Union states were considered transfers rather than exports, enabling the licensing process to be simplified.

These proposals would harmonise German rules with the less restrictive EU laws, the magazine said – it would make it easier for weapons exporters to sell their products around the world via other countries.

“It used to be the case that the government always stressed that the tougher German rules would remain despite harmonisation within Europe,” said Katja Keul, a Green MP. “Obviously that no longer applies.”

Germany is already the world’s third largest arms exporter, yet just recently joined France, Britain and Sweden to call on the United Nations to draw up a new arms trade treaty with a strong human rights component.

Sunday’s Bild newspaper reported on a new contract between Algeria and Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems for two new frigates complete with helicopters in a €400 million deal which includes extensive training of Algerian soldiers by the German armed forces.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent trip to Indonesia was overshadowed by reports, which the government denied, of a deal to sell up to 100 used German tanks to the country. Indonesian media were reporting on the deal with reference to their defence ministry.

The Sunday Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that Keul wrote on her website that the Dutch parliament had rejected a suggested tank deal from the Indonesian government with reference to human rights abuses there.

Keul complained that the German government made decisions on arms deals without consulting parliament – or even informing it after deals were done.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:45 July 15, 2012 by Englishted
Germany can sell them to anyone because it is reluctant to use its own armied forces to clear up any mess.
14:55 July 15, 2012 by Wobinidan
The economy may be collapsing but there's always money to be made in tools of death. Look at Syria if you want to know what these kinds of weapons get used for.
16:20 July 15, 2012 by Jerr-Berlin
Not nearly sd bad as the US (which has about 80% of the arms marktet)

but just the same.... more money for the war profiteers at the expense of the those "foreignerers" on the other side of the bayonet...
17:34 July 15, 2012 by pjnt
Isn't Germany selling Saudi Arabia 500-800 Leopard II tanks in the near future? How much more lax can the laws get?
19:12 July 15, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Tja. Now that Germany has 'Renegotiated' its Oil Contracts in both Libya and Egypt, those need to be Protected. We can't have a bunch of rock throwing lunatics declaring 'Revolution' every time the wind blows. What do you think this is? A Democracy? Ha.
09:22 July 16, 2012 by raandy
Jerr-Berlin, correct, but the USA gives most of the weapons away, Germany gives nothing away,
Today's headlines
Bundesbank, public oppose Greece payouts
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Bundesbank, public oppose Greece payouts

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Friday that he is opposed to giving Greece further financial help because he believes the new government has frittered away too much trust, while a poll showed 78 percent of people opposed to reparations payments. READ  

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren
A black ribbon on a sign in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren

President Joachim Gauck arrived in Haltern on Friday to join families and schoolchildren mourning the loss of their classmates and teachers in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) decided on Thursday that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Interior ministry bans Salafist group
Thomas de Maizière. Photo: DPA

Interior ministry bans Salafist group

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière ordered the dissolving of salafist organisation Tauhid Germany on Thursday, saying that the group radicalized youth and encouraged them to travel to Syria to fight for Isis. READ  

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims
MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) fall silent for a minute before beginning the day's work. Photo: DPA

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims

Germans again took a few moments on Thursday to remember those killed in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 plane crash on Tuesday. READ  

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany
Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland by plane. Photo: DPA

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany

Germany received one of the highest numbers of Ukrainian asylum seekers in Europe last year, according to data released last week by Eurostat and analyzed by The Local. READ  

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty
Narendra Modi. Photo: DPA

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty

Speaking to the The Local ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Germany next month, Amnesty International warned that his poor record on human rights must factor into the talks. READ  

Alps plane crash
Höwedes takes focus off football
Photo: DPA

Höwedes takes focus off football

Germany defender Benedikt Höwedes held up a sign in memory of children from his home town killed in the Germanwings plane crash before a friendly against Australia on Wednesday night. READ  

'Space stone' brought back to Cologne
Alexander Gerst and Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters. Photo: Stadt Köln

'Space stone' brought back to Cologne

German astronaut Alexander Gerst visited the Cologne city hall on Wednesday to present a special gift – a stone from the city's famous cathedral that he'd taken into space with him. READ  

Germanwings crash
Germany mourns for 4U9525 victims
A German flag flying at half mast at the Bundestag (German parliament) Photo: DPA

Germany mourns for 4U9525 victims

Flags flew at half mast across Germany on Wednesday in memory of the people killed in Tuesday's crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
National
Germanwings co-pilot was 'locked out of cockpit' before crash
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,137
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd