Germany Vows to Reach 'Fair Contract' for New Warships
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen vowed on Friday to
press a consortium led by Luerssen Werft of Bremen for a "fair
contract" for five new warships, saying the group's initial bid
was too high.
"My goal is to get the contract started in this legislative
period, but we want a good contact, we want a fair contract and
above all a realistic one," von der Leyen told reporters on
Friday. "We are working hard on that now."
Asked if there was any chance the consortium's reported initial
bid of 2.9 billion would be accepted, von der Leyen said, "I can
state clearly that that number will not stand."
Defence industry sources said last week the German government had
rejected the initial bid from the consortium before it exceeded
the budget target of 1.5 billion euros ($1.59 billion).
The Handelsblatt newspaper reported this week that the bid came
in at 2.9 billion euros, nearly twice the expected amount.
German lawmakers first announced plans in October buy five more
of the warships to bolster security in the Baltic Sea and the
Critics have warned that the ministry's decision to skip an open
competition could lead to higher costs. They also question the
government's plan to secure parliamentary approval for the
planned purchase as soon as June.
Germany is boosting military spending by nearly 2 billion euros
in 2017 to 37 billion euros, or around 1.2 percent of gross
domestic product, but says it will take time to reach the NATO
target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defence.
(Reporting by Reuters TV and Sabine Siebold; Writing by
Andrea Shalal; editing by Ralph Boulton)
Apr 21, 2017