Berlin backs subs for Israel

9th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 September 2004 , DUSSELDORF - German Defence Minister Peter Struck said in an interview published Thursday that the Berlin government would approve the delivery of two submarines to Israel. Besides the submarines, the government aims to speed up orders for four frigates for the German navy worth EUR two billion, Struck told the business daily Handelsblatt. The comments come as the Thyssen-Krupp-Werften shipyards in Hamburg and Emden are preparing the merger with the Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) in

9 September 2004

DUSSELDORF - German Defence Minister Peter Struck said in an interview published Thursday that the Berlin government would approve the delivery of two submarines to Israel.

Besides the submarines, the government aims to speed up orders for four frigates for the German navy worth EUR two billion, Struck told the business daily Handelsblatt.

The comments come as the Thyssen-Krupp-Werften shipyards in Hamburg and Emden are preparing the merger with the Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel. The naval defence contracting operations of the shipyards are pushing for new contracts.

"Naturally we are prepared to help Israel in the acquisition," Struck said about the Israelis' hopes to buy two submarines. He said this would pose no political problem because Israel would use the subs to protect the country's coastline.

Struck told the paper that the Defence Ministry would not help finance the submarine deal, but that ways would be explored with the Economics Ministry to enable the deal to be realised.

The Handelsblatt report noted that unions and worker representatives are worried about job losses in the shipyard merger, amid apparent plans to restructure the operations giving each shipyard one special area of focus.

Ernst Kiel, head of the workers council at HDW, believed that in the area of submarine construction, fewer than 1,800 of the current 3,000 jobs would survive under the restructuring plans.

DPA

Subject: German news

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