In my previous article, I touched upon how the conflict of interests between global powers has been one of the main factors leading to the chaos reigning over the Middle East for decades.
The whole world has witnessed that the U.S. sealed multi-billion-dollar arms deals by setting Saudi Arabia and Qatar against each other. As a matter of fact, the EU does the same thing. No matter how far the EU seems to valorize democracy, human rights and law, it only rivets its gaze on possible profits when it comes to its own interests.
The global powers care only about money and power. Currently, the EU has been shaken with a bribery scandal regarding the European collaboration Airbus Group. This conundrum is also closely linked to the competition and power struggle between the global powers in the Middle East at the cost of many lives in the region.
Some 28 Eurofighter jets produced by Airbus Defense and Space, which is the defense division of Airbus Group, were sold to Kuwait for $9 billion. Following this sale, Professor Abdullah al-Shayji, who is the dean of political science at Kuwait University and a lecturer at the Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Staff Command College, said in April 2016: "This message clearly states that Kuwait will no longer be waiting for U.S. approval, and other alternatives are present."
Interestingly, besides EU countries, the Eurofighter jets have been exclusively sold to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman . In other words, the Middle East offers the monetary source that boosts the EU's high-tech production and defense industry.
Being an EU member, Austria is naturally among the countries purchasing this jet, although the country's purchase took place back in 2003. However, 14 years later, in February 2017, Austria sued Airbus and claimed compensation worth 2 billion euros by alleging that there was corruption and bribery in the purchase of the jets.
This led to a fight soon since the U.S. was waiting in ambush. Considering the Volkswagen and Apple challenges the EU and the U.S. posed against each other, the EU countries, particularly Germany, were taken with fear. Airbus tried to slur over Austria's allegations as "unprofessional," which did not have any influence over the matter. Germany is also under suspicion since the matter is related to the country. Also, at one point, the U.K. signed off a $3.3-billion deal Airbus made with Saudi Arabia, which escalated the tension.
More interestingly, all the jet sales made by EU countries have been financed with the export loans provided by French, British and German governments as part of the military agreements. In a nutshell, Airbus Group, one of the leading commercial aircraft manufacturers in the world, is currently under investigation and accused of engaging in corruption and bribery in the agreements they made by using these loans.
The allegations claiming that there had been corruption in jet sales to non-Western markets prompted the U.K.-based Serious Fraud Office to probe the allegations. In so doing, access to the EU-funded government loans in exports, which has been one of the most commonly used financing model in the sales of Airbus, was suspended.
Currently, the EU endeavors to cover the corruption allegations and avert the U.S. from having the upper hand in the face of the scandal. In this scope, a committee including former German Finance Minister Theodor Waigel and former French Minister for European Affairs Noelle Lenoir was formed.
What will this committee conduct? Will it engage in a genuine cleansing operation or whitewash the dubious relations so as not to give the upper hand to the U.S.? The picture suggests that they will not condescend doing either. This situation will remain unchanged forever as long as they make billions of dollars while the people in the region continue to suffer. So, it is time to expose and confront this injustice.
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