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Latest News

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Submarines - Germans add insult to injury

submarineThe Defence Minister Aguiar-Branco has authorised a maintenance contract for the second of the two submarines purchased from Germany, a deal that resulted in corruption and bribery allegations being proved in a German court.

The €5.5 million maintenance work for the Arpão was listed in today’s Official Gazette for completion in 2015 and comes on top of the €4.5 million already spent having the Trident submarines serviced, two bills that were not budgeted for and will be paid under contracts that conveniently forget that the German consortium that supplied the vessels still owes Portugal €900 million in inward investment.

The decision benefits the Germans yet again who not only have supplied the submarines in a contra deal agreement which they spectacularly have failed to carry out, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH now picks up the maintenance work on the Arpão submarine as it apparently is very complicated to service and the German yard is the only authorised maintenance depot.

The complex and high-tech systems will need spare parts, only available in Germany, as the German consortium that supplied the submarine is the only company that knows how it works.

The final decision to buy the two submarines came in September 2003, with the Government led by Barroso and with Paulo Portas as defence minister opting for the German proposal instead of the French, seemingly as as the bribes were of a better quality - who would suspect an upright German consortium of bribing foreigners to get some business in?

IN Portugal, the sbmarine deal was subject to a recent parliamentary inquiry to the Military Equipment Acquisition Programme where the purchase of EH-101 aircraft, F-16 fighters, torpedoes, U-209 submarines and armoured Pandur II troop carriers all were purchased in a procurement system where bribery was commonplace and acceptable.

Nothing came of this enquiry which many saw as a whitewash especially as the German court already had prosecuted and tried a clutch of Ferrostaal directors for bribing foreign buyers. They were given suspended sentences and fines after admitting that around €30 million had found its way into the pockets of various intermediaries, including €1 million to a Portuguese Admiral who has never been named - in Portugal, anyway.

The two Trident submarines started to be built in Germany in 2005 and were delivered to the Portuguese Navy in 2010 and 2011 at a cost to Portuguese taxpayers of €900 million - the deal was that an equal sum was to be invested in Portugal by the Germans.

This they have failed to do as this scam, had it been running as per normal, meant that the German obligation to invest in Portugal would quietly be forgotten, the bribes paid would be enough to ensure nobody rocked the boat and no investment was needed in Portugal.

The Germans have no intention of fulfilling their part of the deal and further payment for service and spare parts adds insult to injury for the Portuguese taxpayer who yet again is picking up the tab for bent politicians and civil servants whose idea of public service is self-service at the trough of procurement spending.

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Comments  

+2 #3 Edward Montague 2014-11-25 16:34
Anyone else clock the urgency about the Golden Visa's and now Socrates judicial hearings? And that the 'impetus' is from outside Portugal ?

Using just one special judge, sending the great man to prison and a very tight control on what exactly is actually going on?

Actual judicial secrecy because the serious info and impetus is coming from outside. The opposite of what another of those wily birds from the good ole days, ex-President Mario Soares is saying; but then as always, he is just happily stirring it!

As though Brussels has finally told Portugal ------

"You have spent the last 10 or so years drinking in the 'Last Chance' Saloon. We had already given you 20 years to get a grip on the lawlessness in Portugal, and make it obvious you are in our EU gang. So - get it sorted or we will run you out of town"

This warning closely linked to the arrival soon of the EU subsidies stage coach.

This is the language the cowboys in Portugal understand ... but when the coach arrives -

don't anyone shout Dakota !
+4 #2 Nigel Brown 2014-11-25 09:04
the bribes were of a better quality (and) ... the Portuguese taxpayer .. yet again is picking up the tab for bent politicians and civil servants whose idea of public service is self service.

Again Ed - you are a star ! You cut through the waffle and give us it straight. Plain English.

Portugal has always desperately hidden this side - the reality - of life in Portugal.

To the extent of flooding the various expat websites with their own people. Constantly massaging an image of "A country 'just' like the UK ... but getting much more sun and warmth. Olives and wine"

Euronews - the most watched news in Europe (exactly what Portugal does not want!) has noticeably slammed into the Socrates arrest and now imprisonment.

One article focussing on his brief period as a buildings inspector before his climb in politics. Certainly inspecting with a dodgy qualification - and certainly not up to any european standard so he was 'encouraged to leave'. Around 20 buildings therefore suspect.

But this being such a backward retarded country we will increasingly hear voices saying 'It's all political ... leave him alone!'
+2 #1 liveaboard 2014-11-25 08:49
following this long running story, I always wondered why Portugal needs these submarines at all.
The country can barely afford to maintain its surface fleet, the air force is largely grounded due to cost constraints.
It seems to me that from the beginning, the sole purpose of the contract was the kickbacks.

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