• Germany edition
 
Germany 'plans to relax weapons export rules'
Photo: DPA

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
Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

Police find dead baby in train station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find dead baby in train station locker

Police in Hamburg found the body of a baby hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. The woman believed to be its mother is in psychiatric care. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,374
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd