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Germany’s arms exports approved in 2019 have reached a record level

close up photo of black helicopter with black machine gun

The total value of military equipment exports approved by the German government in 2019 reached a record amount of almost € 8 billion, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance that came to the knowledge of the German Agency.

By December 15, the government approved arms exports worth € 7.95 billion, the largest amount since 2015, according to figures released by the finance ministry.

This year’s amount comes after three consecutive years of contraction in exports, and from the amount of 2015 when exports of military equipment amounted to 7.86 billion euros.

Compared to 2018, authorized exports increased by 65%.

Nearly 1.77 billion euros worth of military equipment was exported to Hungary (a NATO member), followed by Egypt with 802 million euros worth of arms exports and the US 483 million euros.

Authorizations have risen sharply since the start of 2019. By the middle of the year, export licenses had already exceeded those of last year, totaling € 5.3 billion.

Finance Minister Peter Altmayer said the increase was due to the lengthy process of forming a government after the 2017 elections, which created a backlog of decisions.

The share of controversial exports to so-called third countries that are neither EU members nor NATO – such as Australia – fell this year from 52.9% to 44.2% compared to the previous year. However, the sheer amount has increased by almost € 1 billion.

“These dramatic figures show that the whole export control system simply does not work,” said Sevim Dagdelen, foreign policy chief for DiLinke.

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