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Greece-Arms Deals: Does Merkel Trade “2nd Bailout” for “60 Eurofighter”?

From time to time there are similar leakages in the European media. That Greece’s lenders, preferably the Germans and the French, put Athens under pressure for lucrative arms deals. There has been talk about German submarines, French frigates and American Apache helicopters. The latest story by German Weekly DIE ZEIT  speaks of multi-billion-euro arms contracts, once the debt-ridden country receives the next aid tranche, estimated to be € 80 billion in  March 2012.

DIE ZEIT quoted an apparent middleman, a frequent visitor at the Greek Defense Ministry, making these allegations.

Fine Weapons for Athens – Frigates, tanks and submarines: Saving Packages By-Pass The Greek Military.  And Germany benefits.

The man knows the wish-list of the Greek Defense Ministry by heart: up to 60 fighter aircraft fighter for maybe € 3.9 billion. French frigates for about four billion euro,  patrol boats worth 400 million euros. So much is necessary for the modernization of the existing Greek fleet. Then it still lacks of ammunition for the Leopard tanks , but also two American Apache helicopters need to be replaced. Oh, and one would like to buy German U-boats, total price: two billion euros.

What the man,who goes in and out at Greece’s Defence Ministry, says sounds absurd. A State which is on the verge of bankruptcy and is supported by billions of the European Union wants to buy tons of weapons?The man in the Athens café is often seen in pictures next to generals of the Army or Defense officials, he often speaks with these guys on the phone, so he knwos what he’s talking about. He knows how sensitive the issue is, and would therefore not be named in the article. Even he holds these arms purchases as not communicable. But things could soon change, he says: “If Greece get paid the next tranche of aid, with € 80 billion expected, in March, there is a real opportunity to conclude new arms contracts.”

Quoting several Greek and German sources, DIE ZEIT wrote that the Greek government wanted to order 90 Eurofighters from Germany back in 1999 and that even than Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher (Greens) tried to persuade the Greeks. In fact, every once in a while the German government was trying to remind the Greeks of their Eurofighter needs.

Angela Merkel in the years 2005-2007.  Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (FDP) tried to secure the Eurofighters deal even in the spring 2010, just weeks before the Greek bankruptcy. The Greeks did not make any deal and few weeks later Westerwelle told a German newspaper that “Before there is any discussion about aid to Greece , that the country does its full homework on consolidation policy.”

Many German arms companies profited in the last years from the Greek defense needs: 223 Tanks-equipement Typ M109 and one Submarine (Class 214) total worth 403 million EUR, arrived in Greece in 2010! Krauss-Maffei Wegmann delivered 170 Leopard-2 Tanks for 1.7 billion EUR. Thyssen-Krupp delivered submarines, Eurocopter helicopters and Diehl BGT missiles.

Yes, Greeks are proud that their army is equipped with German products! But DIE ZEIT article triggered some negative reactions in Greece and three MPs from left-wing Democratic Left party, submitted a question to Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, asking whether such allegations are true and whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel has set the Eurofighters deal as precondition for the second bailout (

Full Die Zeit Article in google translation in ZeroHedge

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  1. If the tranche doesn’t get disbursed, is there still money to buy American military hardware, aircraft etc? And what about the 500K salary of Mr. Poupoulias and the rest of them, does that get paid still?

  2. I would think that it’s an honor to serve the Greek people, and I’m sure if push camed to shove they would all give up their salary and govern for free.

    Also, has anyone asked the Greek Orthodox Church to start paying the priests’ salaries? I mean, really, it’s an honor to serve God as well. I’m sure many of these priests would do it for free.

    We just need to ask them, and don’t assume the worst.

  3. Hey guys, don’t get bent out of shape here. I was trying to be satirical now. But, the reality is that in the USA, many, many preachers work for free. They do it because they love the Lord, Jesus Christ and want to preach is word. What they do receive is a small pittance from the parishoners grace for their living expenses.

    Now, that may be alien to some of you (I won’t mention names as I don’t want this to seem like a personal attack LOL).

    • @Amerikanaki, We’ve lost our sense of humour here (LOL). Serving the Lord is one thing, serving people is another.
      PS I’ve heard of preachers in USA earning $$$$$$$$$$ – but that’s not important. Important is that in both sectors (preachers, politicians) there are those earning just to cover basic needs and others earning large.

      • GOOD, then there is still hope!!..

        BUT, gotta say, with the experience I had with Greek priests, there is not a chance in “downunder” that they ever will work for free. Some of them, as the situation is now, do a hugh job helping poor families ect, but they sure still take hugh prices for a wedding or baptisme.
        For some reason, maybe im to damaged, when I see Greek priests, I always think “Oh, there goes the Greek Mafiosos”. Because thats how I see them.

        Let me tell you a little story. Back in the 80s and early 90s my parents collected whealchairs and other aids for handicap people. In Greece they had NOTHING. A whealchair was a toiletchair with wheals. We brought it all down here to Rhodes. At the time my parents where travelling several times a year as volunteers for people with Multiple scleroses in Denmark. Normally to Rhodes. Since we had a lot of contact with some locals in a village, which name I wont meantion, we decided to give it to the church there. Oh, we were the heros of the day. 3 months later my parents came back down, meet an old friend and he told them that the priest had never given the things out, but instead had demanded payment for them!!! Same thing happen other places in Greece, where other danish groups were bringing down the same things.
        And btw. This priest. He is still there!!!!!!!!!……. And he is still the biggest mafioso in the village. The only ones who see him as a good is the old women.

        The politicians here and for the rest of the world, none of them would ever say “OK, we go down in salery due to the financial crisis”. Its the other way around, they had their saleries and bonusses PUT UP! Denmark incl. Its all about taking care of your self and then to hell with those who actually pay your salery. Thats why I see this whole situation to be very dangerous. Because they dont listen to people, just do as they wish, people suffer and they continue to live their highlife. Those situations has throughout history ended with bloodshed. At some point, they will have pushed people so fare, that the bomb will go off. And THEN we got real trouble!!

        • keeptalkinggreece

          lol oh this reminds me of the story, when my mom wanted to donate an one-day meal for poor seniors that the local church was feeding in the early 90’s too. The ladies of the ‘church charity committee” told her, she’d had to bring so many kilos of butter, of flour etc. My mom got upset, she found some poor people in the neighborhood and directly gave them the money she was planning to donate for the meal. Thank God, things ar emuch better today, more control and transparency even in our local church, from what I hear.

          • HAHAHAHA. Great. You would like to help out and end up having to feed 1000s on your own.

            Yes, I havent heard about these cases for years now. Minus from the catholic church here in Rhodes (BUT that dosnt come as a suprice!! ;-).

  4. Agapoula Thn Kukula

    Not to agree with Ameriklaneis, but in Greece, we have to pay these priests as public servants! At least in the US, due to seperation of church and state, it is all private money for those windbags who tell people how great God is and how bad they are.

  5. I’m confused, you didn’t know about these deals? Some of these deals were triggered by Vakelaki, no lawyer is intresting this issue. It was known in Germany, that the amount of this deals are saved by Hermes (Exports insurance of the German goverment).
    You should frequently read die Zeit?

    • as nothing has been officially confirmed, everytime we read about this, we are ….surprised! 🙂

  6. Kali mera,
    greece is the 5th biggest importer of weapons worldwide, according to Papadreou paid last March 320 Million Euro for Four submarines and ordered additional two.
    The best customers of German weapons are Greece and Portugal.
    People are sleeping on the streets but hey, weapons are more important. No one of these Guys in Bruxelles are asking for reduction of the Defense budget?

    Keep up this good job, sometimes i feel really tired about this mess.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      Oh yes, the Troika asks now cuts in the Defence budget, I read here and there, some 400 million euro.
      Ps I am too really tired of posting about this mess, I keep posting about the same things and make similar comments #Keep_Going