EADS Bribery Scandal
German language media translated for TVR's Media Monitor
Europe-wide Bribery Network, 10 Nov.
by Hans Leyendecker and Klaus Ott
Bribery and embezzlement, money laundering and fraud: Because of the EADS’ [European Aeronautic Defence Space Company] business deals with Austria, prosecutors are investigating all over Europe. The head of the defence contractor, Tom Enders, has announced a crack-down on corruption. It is, however, rather late. […]
EADS Deutschland GmbH has allegedly paid bribes while selling 15 military aircraft Eurofighter Typhoons to the Austrian Army over the past decade. Some €70 million is suspected to have found its way into dark channels. The investigators are attempting to decipher the presumably corrupt system. Austrian officials are suspected of excepting bribes, and possibly politicians too – in either case, decision-makers.
Eurofighter: The Shadow Finance-System of EADS, 19 Nov.
by Ulla Kramar-Schmid, Gunther Müller
If one follows its engineers, the qualities of a Eurofighter Typhoon could be summarised in the following catchy slogan: "Nothing comes close." Indeed, influential circles consider the twin-engine "multi-purpose combat aircraft" the epitome of European engineering prowess. Its datasheet alone could invoke wet dreams for any military official. No other aircraft is more powerful, more agile or versatile – or indeed faster. […]
[On 8 Nov.], EADS-boss Thomas Enders issued a press release, that in fact could have – should have – been written years ago: "EADS fully cooperates with the investigative authorities on that matter. […]"
"The matter" vaguely circumscribes the serious [bribery] allegations of the past 10 years, surrounding the largest acquisition procedure in the history of the Second Republic, currently investigated by prosecutors in Vienna, Munich and Rome. Around the year 2002, when the acquisition of 18 Eurofighter Typhoons – later revised to 15 – was agreed within the far-right government, EADS allegedly paid millions in bribes, commissions and so-called kickbacks: benefitting political and military decision-makers, as well as Austrian officials; government [ÖVP and FPÖ] insiders; national companies that participated in the ominous counter-trade programme, their alleged "advisers" or even their own employees.