German arms exports soared under Merkel's coalition, public records show

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
BERLIN
Published
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaks to a German soldier as she visits the German contingent at the Al Azraq air base in Jordan, Jan. 13, 2018. (Reuters Photo)
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen speaks to a German soldier as she visits the German contingent at the Al Azraq air base in Jordan, Jan. 13, 2018. (Reuters Photo)

German arms exports rose sharply over the past four years under Chancellor Angela Merkel's outgoing coalition government, with deliveries to countries outside NATO and the European Union up by almost a half compared with the previous administration.

Over the 2014-17 period, permits for arms exports were worth 25.1 billion euros (30.9 billion dollars), up 21 percent on the figure for the previous four years, when Merkel's conservative alliance was in coalition with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

Deliveries to states outside NATO and the EU soared by 47 percent to 14.48 billion euros over the four years. Arms and defense-related sales totaling 3.79 billion euros were exported to these countries last year alone, up 127 million euros on the previous year.

The Social Democratics (SPD), the junior partner in the outgoing grand coalition - and a potential partner in a new grand coalition - stated at the end of 2013 that it aimed to cut back on permits for arms sales.

The figures, which are provisional, were made public in response to a parliamentary question put by the Left Party and the details made available to the German Press Agency.

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