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Greens sue government over Saudi tank deal

The Local · 1 Aug 2011, 17:08

Published: 01 Aug 2011 17:08 GMT+02:00

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"A suit brought by the members of parliament Christian Ströbele, Claudia Roth and Katja Keul was filed on Friday" with the Constitutional Court, the spokeswoman added.

The Greens, who oppose the reported deal, have asked the Court to rule on whether the government is entitled to grant an export licence for the tanks without informing parliament.

Press reports recently suggested that Saudi Arabia would be buying 200 Leopard-2s, Germany's main battle tank which is also produced under licence in Spain, for a multi-billion-euro sum.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have refused to comment on the reports, saying such matters are confidential and decided by the federal security council, a panel which rules on arms exports and which is chaired by the chancellor.

"Deliberation and decisions by the federal security council are secret for good reason," Merkel has told the press.

For decades Germany has declined to sell such heavy weapons to Saudi Arabia because of concerns over human rights and fears for Israel's security.

Story continues below…

Opposition politicians and even some members of Merkel's ruling centre-right coalition have slammed the reported tank sale, particularly in light of pro- democracy uprisings throughout the Middle East.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:39 August 1, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
So now you can sue the German government over difference of opinion. What kind of rubbish is this? They want money because someone in power did something they don't like. Poor Greens.
20:08 August 1, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
Actually, by going to the Constitutional Court the Greens want to force the German government to publish the considerations behind the planned tank deal with Saudi Arabia, because the Greens think the debate should have been brought before the parliament. They don't want the Court to force their opinion on the government, which wouldn't be possible anyway. And they don't want money, it's the Constitutional Court. They will discuss some issues concerning the German constitution there, you know. Difficult stuff, you know?
21:22 August 1, 2011 by whpmgr
Let's see:

The Saudis will buy tanks. If not the LEopard, probably an American tank. So why would anyone want to lose sales to soemone else who will fill the bill anyways. I do not see anyone complaining when a terrorist winds up with a german made handgun, shot gun or what have you. Would they then try to stop the manufacture of those items and put even more people on the dole? 200 tanks is a good deal of work. Why stand in the way.

I believe that guns do not kill people, people do. This tank could be used for good or bad, and why lose german jobs and money coming into Germany to let soemone else get the sale? Do you think these two politicians have the votes of the people making the tanks or the families that will eat because they get the pay made making them?

Quit trying to play a moral game when we are seeing nations drowning in debt, and companies losing work places.
23:31 August 1, 2011 by cobalisk
Selling arms to brutal regimes is stupid, why? often you have to fight them later.

Just ask the US.

Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Panama, Iraq...etc.

The greens are right to force the issue, and the current government is wrong to take the hard line on such an obviously bad position.

People with guns kill people much more often than people without guns. Fixed that for ya.
23:26 August 3, 2011 by whpmgr
cobalisk: So you think you have the answer? OK, so no one from germany sells them tanks. SOmeone from Russia, (as it used to be) or France, or the US, UK, China, South Africa...those are about the other people who could do it (not taking into account any of the old UdSSR countries that can produce weapons). The REGIME has new tanks, and the Germans are out tanks, sales, jobs, and a better position with an oil controlling country that could help improve the German position with regards to oil/gasoline pricing.

SOmeone is going to make the sale. SOmeone is going to die one day from weapons. It wont be germans, and the jobs lost, just because someone may some day in the future, but not sure if it will happen at all, well, why worry about now and today and the food, and economy, and everything else.

You can be a moralist and kill your country with out firing a shot.

So the US is fighting their own weapons? The ones they sold? Nah, most American Soldiers are dying from Iranian AK's, or Russian or CHinese AK's. THe older MANPADs sold /sent to Afghanistan in the 80's are pretty much worthless. You won't find that most Americans were killed with US MAde stuff, even though the lying news media tell you that even in Mexico the entire problem is because of the US's ability to make and sell guns. You are misled here buddy. MOst american deaths over the last 40 years are from Russian or east German fed terrorist organizations- lets not discount the libyans, and the Berlin bombing and a few other things. Nor the few minor bits of help the Koreans (north to be sure) gave. NOr lets discount the secrets that were NATO secrets that were passed to the russians by the French collaberators either. BUt you won't pin the major amount of deaths on US Made weapons.

People who wish to kill will. Gun Knife or baseball bat. Understand it isn't going to amke a difference except to the people you are trying to put out of a job.
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