• Germany's news in English

Merkel gets flak for record Gulf arms sales

The Local · 7 Aug 2013, 12:35

Published: 07 Aug 2013 12:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Germany is sending millions of euros worth of tanks and howitzers to a region where governments have been accused of using force against their own citizens in violent crackdowns against dissent.

Judging by booming sales in the first half of 2013, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government looks set to top the record €1.42 billion of arms sold to Gulf states last year - €1.24 billion to Saudi Arabia alone - wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.

Weapons worth €817 million have been approved for export to the six governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) this year, said the paper - most of which are destined for Qatar.

The figures come from the Federal Economics Ministry, released in response to a Left party parliamentary enquiry.

The majority of the recent arms sales – €635 million worth – has been to Qatar. In April newspaper reports revealed the Arab emirate had bought 62 German Leopard 2 combat tanks and 24 Panzerhaubitze tracked self-propelled howitzers.

“Angela Merkel is developing into the best friend of the Gulf despots,”

Left party MP and arms trade expert Jan van Aken told the paper. “If it carries on like this 2013 will probably break a new record.”

Merkel's government has come under fire over the past 18 months from domestic critics who question the morality of arming governments with less-than-perfect human rights records during the upheavals of the Arab Spring.

"Despite all criticism Angela Merkel remains completely without conscience in her weapons exports,” van Aken told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Story continues below…

“The German arms industry seems to be more important to her than human rights. She's acting as if the Arab Spring never happened," he added.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd