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tv   Doc Film - Bombs for the World - How Germany Profits from Wars and Crises  Deutsche Welle  April 29, 2018 9:15am-10:01am CEST

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i. here in northern germany the german armed forces the bundeswehr is holding it's open day. fun and games for the entire family save the organizers and a chance for the arms industry to show off its web ads especially for munitions john trine metallo there's hardly a german weapons project that does not involve primatology by. the german company goes back a long way and this says one of its main locations like. five thousand kilometers away bombs are being dropped on civilians in a war that makes a mockery of international law and despite apparently strict and. rules run the
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town is making a killing out of it. to know if it is described apathy that the cities are expanding and they are all getting new customers as well for the bot this is an infamous game with dubious roles in terms of legality ethics and morality what would you call that the dutch attention or german technology and expertise are being used to deal in death we have to do all we can to stop this justify. every two years the british capital attracts military delegations from around the world they come to the london docklands to attend the d.s. . fact that countries may be at war with each other but here they can bury the
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hatchet while they buy new weapons. one of the biggest stands of the trade fam belongs to ron matal germany's leading arms manufacturer would just hold off base company sells three billion euros worth of military equipment tanks cannons simulation systems guns and ammunition. shall most for mortar launchers soft tillery guns tanks and old munch on display like precious museum exhibits looking so shiny and pretty that an observer could forget that these instruments of death. many of those inside all familiar with this man on the outside andrew feinstein international arms trade expert and former south african parliamentarian he's not allowed in fortunately my name is well known to you organizes off the office for that and so i know. granted it cretaceous to
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come inside the sphere since he uncovered a huge arms scandal in his country has been operating from london for his own safety his research also focuses on german arms exports germany plays a role through the export of weapons especially into regions that are unstable where there is conflict where there is repression most obviously today the middle east and plays a role in ensuring that those conflicts are remarkably bloody. like the campaign in yemen it was originally touted as a short aerial intervention led by saudi arabia to defeat the militias who were allegedly terrorizing the country. more than a thousand days later there's been no sign of a letup who thieves have put up stiffer resistance than expected and the saudis and their allies have responded by raising much of yemen to the ground they bombed
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schools hospitals and residential areas they destroyed infrastructure and apparently aim to starve the country into submission it's a war that's claimed thousands of lives and led to a humanitarian catastrophe. going by the book the german arms industry should have nothing to do with this war. for example it is forbidden by german law to export arms to countries where they can be used to disturb the peace. as the german security and defense industry we completely accept that. there are ways and means to turn a profit that all the same one of those ways is by an island in the mediterranean familiar to many germans as a holiday destination. mount
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openly is one of saddam is best known politicians he was regional president before he was elected to the italian parliament and run a politician who conducts a lot of his research personally including research into ryan metar. it all began just over two years ago when he got a tip off that something incredible was happening at kalyani apple where planes full of vacationers land and take off. that these days that this area here was full of bombs it was quite a show of course the people who saw it got excited that the countless bombs being loaded onto a cargo plane demanded a crisis for them the ball mikati got their way out of. these are photos of the
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operation the weapons of war being loaded up next to the tourist carriers. u.s. general purpose bombs from the mock eighty series being loaded onto a plane belonging to silk way and azerbaijani and one that specializes in transporting weapons to crisis hit regions. what was going on. we got his boss that the only answer i got was from the operators of the airport people you know who said that all the flights were authorized but chief no further details both liberal and i asked the same question in parliament and was told the same thing that isn't that it but the flights were authorized. this was official confirmation of that bombs were being transported by the dust bowl to the bomb but the bombs are assembled here in rural sardinia about forty five kilometers west of . in
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a valley near the town of the almost no less is an unassuming looking factory that makes bombs by the thousands. it belongs to a company called on wm italia the abbreviation stands for rhine mittal weapon and munition and it is a one hundred percent subsidiary of german arms manufacturer run mittal. but it got ten days this is a german factory on italian territory that makes a deadly product bombs that are sold all over the world by measurement here germany is exploiting a disadvantaged area the soul just something with its high unemployment. arms are being manufactured for huge profit that but it grew to add not is what is happening in this area but mostly it was just for the course of the. book where of the bombs made by ryan mittal inside dinny and deployed in twenty fifteen an employee of the
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ngo human rights watch snapped these photographs of bomb components. they were found in sabah in northern yemen a city with a population of fifty thousand shortly after a saudi bombing raid. the bomb but as a code number that indicates the type of bomb and and its origin. italian island of sardinia. when queried ryan mittal in total golf admitted that the n.s.a. and code thirteen twenty five fifteen one five zero fifty eight twenty four indicates that it was made by on wm italia gradually a coherent picture is emerging he seems to sequester the chain obviously lots of people. said nothing. first the government in rome. then the regional government
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and anyone else who knew what was going on. because factory was always used to make explosives but they were used for civilian purposes ok the plant used to supply the local mines that once existed here in sardinia. but at some stage the factory was repurposed more or less secretly. kwesi. central berlin in may twenty seventeen protesters take to the streets to demonstrate against ron metal as it holds its annual shareholders meeting. but despite let's be clear i never buy shares in ryan mittal to make a profit is guilty of complicity with arms exports and with murder throughout the world. works for an italian foundation he is part of a network that buys run mittal shands not for the dividend but to ask difficult
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questions that chaldea meetings he has heard that run mittal plans to invest heavily in its factory in soft india. to get a visa i would like to ask why these facilities are being expanded in. we read that there is going to be a new testing range we don't understand exactly what is going on what is being tested and what for which weapons. where these weapons being exported to. these have often exposed to it. that previous annual meetings of rye mental photographs were allowed these are from twenty fifteen. back and behind him the other directors and supervisory board members now photos are prohibited when the chairman gets up to talk business this message. to this
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meeting all the trends point to growth especially for rye matal defense the weapons to push. sales of almost three billion euros in twenty sixteen fourteen percent year on year growth and a new order for munitions to the tune of four hundred eleven million euros. the destination is in one of the most conflict torn regions in the world the middle east and north africa. won't say exactly which country has placed the order. but what did you make of the numbers. at the moment the company is in good shape and it was all very correct and democratic perfect but not going to do too well the dividend is not bad at all it's certainly better than the interest the local bank pays it doesn't bother you that bombs may be rahmatullah being used in yemen at least a dozen other maybe. that's the wrong question if bombs are being dropped there
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it's not right mattel dropping them. how was the shareholders' meeting it was good good but what did you like in particular off because the whole atmosphere the whole package is i'm tight as before what did you make of the numbers they presented yes promising sorry i have to get my bus tickets i'm with does it bother you that bombs made by rahmatullah being dropped in yemen yes. it does not everything is put to the right news but there are positives to buy for now qantas. borrow major lotto now has confirmation that the plant in sardinia is growing in importance for run mittal. if i'm going to but you know they answered some of our questions about plans to expand the plant and don't most know of us. they said they would invest seventeen to twenty million euros in two thousand and seventeen and the same again in two thousand and eighteen. also it did to me the.
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most know of us is a small town with high unemployment and the dwindling population business is booming for one fun run meant towns bomb factory. it is dramatic this is a business based on death. the more people are killed the more weapons are bought macone the more you kill it the more weapons he needs that it's a perverse mechanism that a democratic state should not tolerate neither for moral nor economic reasons. but how come this small town in southern sardinia play such a big role in the international arms trade let's take a look at a complicated contract from twenty twelve that formed the basis for a major export do.
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the saudi arabian defense ministry orders bombs from us from raytheon its british subsidiary subcontracts the rye mattel subsidiary w.-m. italia to produce them contract is worth more than sixty three million euros. the order was delivered from dormice nov us to jeddah islamic seaport from where it was taken to the end customer the royal saudi air force this contract ran until mid twenty seventeen and covered thousands of m.k. eighty three bombs. since the start of the saudi act campaign in yemen in twenty fifteen at the very latest it has been doubtful whether the arms exports are in line with the tally and will. see that the venues are sales to a country at war to a. conflict that has been condemned by the united nations
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a numerous occasions the italian constitution which condemns war and a law on arms exports totally prohibit this kind of export. how is it possible for ryan metal to export bombs from soundin into saudi arabia nonetheless when asked the italian defense minister said it had nothing to do with. these are not italian bombs they are covered by a contract signed by a us firm that subcontracted a german firm. that company has factories in italy. numerous written queries to the italian government went. who then is responsible for the bombs exported by germany's biggest arms manufacturer. in berlin the federal security council meets in secret to decide what it's going to
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go ahead made up of the chancellor and important ministers bases its decisions on the government's political principles which say supplying weapons of war shall not be approved to countries involved in armed conflict or when there is a danger of such a conflict breaking out. a flexible principle as the latest figures show twenty seventeen the german government did indeed approve oms exports to some countries that don't meet the requirements german companies exported munitions worth four hundred twenty eight million euros to egypt two hundred forty nine million euros worth to saudi arabia two hundred fourteen million to the united arab emirates in the late one nine hundred eighty s. when helmut kohl was chancellor his defense minister rupert schultz of the christian democratic union was a member of the federal security council former law professor. the legal and
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political ramifications of. it's a grey area here's one example. to saudi arabia intended for police border controls that has nothing to do with the military or military purposes however if the intention is to deploy them for military purposes they do need approval according to legislation governing the weapons of war in other words it's a grey area. grey area should be no question about exports to saudi arabia for the war in yemen. can be used for intended for use in wars of aggression or for measures that would disturb the peace as the law stipulates then the federal government is duty bound to refuse to approve their export time the german economic ministry has to say about the bomb. in the matter you describe the assumption that
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the export of bombs took place from italy in this regard german law. exports from germany very easy for the. these particular. to being produced in their responsibility to regulate the italian. and it is in this way that the global trade in weapons remains less regulated than the global trade. some deals were approved by neither the italian nor the german government run but sound has found another way around the regulations this time by a south africa. since the days of apartheid the country has had a powerful arms industry with close ties to politicians. one of the few politicians
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who lost critical questions about this is copus moray of the opposition party democratic alliance in twenty sixteen he learned that an entire turnkey arms factory had been exported to saudi arabia. we were concerned that you know said saudi arabia has got a good record in terms of human rights and suppression of human rights especially women and then you know the perception that they are supporting isis and even some rebel forces in yemen and other countries it is in conflict zones and we were concerned that whatever gets manufactured the we you know can be used directly or in directly in those in those areas the government did not respond to questions about reportedly unchecked use of the arms factory which added to my
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raise concern. that we're not convinced at all i think it's as they did in the in a previous earlier that been anything can be used and sometimes in the future so it's a saudi company now so it makes it even more difficult to monitor and control because they would tell us probably i suspected but be doing is not good nothing to do with you we don't use your products to manufacture anything. despite the fact that your original plant. was manufactured and installed because. fifty kilometers east of cape town on the way to the somerset west township is the headquarters of the company that built the factory it's a huge complex with tight security a site of national strategic importance which is why filming is actually prohibited to watch transparent a familiar blue logo of rime atop this branch is called the now munition
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audi m m presents itself as a premium manufacturing. procedure. battle tested you see where every detail. with its mission critical there is no room for. compromise. this is where the should stay in. their ultimate with. some transmissions for when you choose little to no minissha adi aim is may need an export driven company and one of the most successful companies in south africa.
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of. every year they employ over two thousand people and they all crying at. some defect trees all even running double shifts because they're also busy if any one of africa's success stories on the defense industry side of. the story began a decade ago when ron metron started a joint venture with a state run south african company denounced. in two thousand and eight to form the joint south african owned and germany's run matal defense efficiency and quality. the mission was there. the whole. africa's military infrastructure is constantly. scoundrel so its origins.
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and its practices since then have remained criminal to be in partnership with a company that is a state owned enterprise in south africa means that you are effectively engaging in the corruption that is taking place in the south african state today. we are back in northern germany in a village of three thousand five hundred residents one to loose is the nerve center of rhyme a business with bombs and bullets it's also home to the biggest shooting range in europe this is where the subsidiary which owns the plant in south africa is headquartered. people who like to talk about. dealings abroad. as the town mayor it's my job to look after the interests of the municipality of
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suit and we're very happy to have a company like ryan mattel with so many jobs. and to hear. the economic factor for our community is very important. to his. the manner of suit to which i want to list belongs i'm the chairman of the local council agree that activities are rarely questioned. one and i'm afraid i cannot help you on that i have very very rarely hear criticism in this country to talk but there is one place in tone to loose where i'm at tom does come in for criticism the local church one sunday in june the lutheran church is peace commissioner has come to to lend his support to the local pastor. also i'm an outsider i've just come from had over traditional for the local parish
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pastor it's a sensitive issue because many in his community work there. we have to make clear that we have a position against this yeah. that will be the challenge of today's service without rejecting the people themselves don't know how to mention it. i know tolbert nailed to the cross the desk like piece itself sacrificed sold nailed to the cross yeah yes we christians are always good and devout to keep our heads down and stay out of trouble that's the best way to get through life one of the suspects to see i have a lot of respect for anyone attending today's service it is difficult for the parish pastor so it is difficult because many people i don't know if they are here today even rely on the factory for a living still we think something is wrong we must draw the consequences of
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consequences. that's easier said than done for many people in a town that has been producing arms for nearly one hundred twenty years and where the church until the one nine hundred ninety s. was called the soldiers' memorial church the. decision to rename this church the peace church didn't go down well with everyone. who left the church because of it. period the local christian democrats say the church's position is not their business. and it was a particular issue visiting with. in my opinion it's the church's business this is the for us it's important to have a strong economy here and to creating keep jobs to encourage people to live here. in the folk home here fault the town of going to loose is proud of this company.
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and as long as it obeys the law we don't have a problem with it was and is investigation of our made. w.-m. based didn't want to lose as a majority stake in the plant in somerset west what it produces that he's covered by south africa. in theory south africa has very tough on what can be exported and imported and it is supposed to keep track of all the items that are out of the country but the problem with that is that there is no record at all of things like factories cities that all exported so we've seen. it too to which countries exported their factories exporting entire factories is an important aspect of body m's business strategy. for impressive food for you
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includes the comprehensive artillery suite in the world we also empower our clients with to keep plant engineering solutions. all in all. says it has exported a total of thirty nine arms factories the german boss of the rhine metal subsidiary panels the fact that these factories are now clients to make that went. since. it is hard to find out who the customers being. south africa actually are. what is known is that the rhine matal subsidiary was involved in the construction of a factory in the united arab emirates and the one in saudi arabia. a group of syrian hackers released confidential documents including a secret document on a bid for a filling plant each was to produce hundreds of shells and mortars as well as bombs
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at the types m.k. eighty two m k eighty four and warheads for launch missiles. the document appears real with a trove of technical details and plans for a turnkey factory. it's incredibly dangerous because if a german company is not controlling production how do they know what norms are being it hit in this production process they've affectively sold the production process. they effectively saying especially if it's into a region like the middle east they're effectively saying do what you want. virus sardinia and south africa germany's run mental exam ing the military coalition in yemen with bombs from the mediterranean the entire factories from cape town saudi
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arabia the united arab emirates are among the customers and egypt as we discovered where an arms factory is on the completion. of a country where hopes for democracy after the arab spring were put down with guns about tom's went dissidents simply disappear. where the military has seized back power and general abdel fattah el-sisi rules with an iron fish. if it's especially in the city s the man in charge of egypt is mr el-sisi who many compatriots say is even worse than mubarak egypt is also taking part in the yemen war by helping with marine patrols i don't think we should accept this so it's effectively undermining south africa's democracy at the same time as being able to get weapons into destinations that might be completely undemocratic that might be
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engaged in conflicts and. we wanted to ask about the allegations and find out about all the other factories but nobody wanted to talk with german media insisting that it was a south african company but it belongs to a german company flies a german flag at the factory gate and has a german name nor that shorts. the rhyme at our headquarters in was also unwilling to tell us what countries its foreign subsidiaries export to the press department issued a statement saying exports by r.d.m. from south africa a carrier. in accordance with the country's laws we cannot comment on possible customer relations for reasons of competition and in part due to contractual obligations. to use its foreign activities to circumvent german regulations we spoke to the industry federation. of the federation of the german security and
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defense industry. our first priority is german arms exports which keeps us busy and will do so in the future. issues with the previous government and we expect to have them with the next while. other countries where companies operate either alone or as part of joint ventures have other rules i can't tell from here whether they exploit that. he's also president of the federation he declined several invitations to take part in an interview for this report. a presentation on the strategic targets of the arms of munitions division the thinking behind the overseas activities one stated goal is to free the company from german export regulations and ensure profitability the two key locations are. projected to reach the one hundred million euro mark in the
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medium term and south africa. during crease annual sales to two hundred fifty million euros. toward the business of death is growing and the fact that it's not happening here that the war start taking place somewhere else does not make it any better everyone on this planet has to live with the consequences of these wars while leaders talk of fences and walls i find that unacceptable and it must be stopped. in this township in the a me. the synergy of the rhine metal now munition plant investment from germany is most welcome in the battle with massive unemployment. and. living it is critically important that we have to look at ways to create jobs. but
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obviously in a sustainable way that is what run matal promises in south africa as it plays the nice alms john but does something for poor communities equipping schools even donating chemistry sets. it will even get children to be able to do hands on experiments themselves instead of just looking at the pictures and it takes it in expecting them to actually understand when it's a practical experiment. very practical and you have a successful cause i really like to read the same piece i'd like to see thank you to the combine of the brain and i will appreciate what they've done for us we're going to research many things in the conflict we now everything is going to be is we're going to achieve results before we see think you think if that image we will be with you. in the years to come.
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brian mattel will spend a tiny percentage of the profits they're making in south africa on improving their public image the reality is. the products that this company. africa. in many parts of including the middle east. the company does not appear to have any scruples about. sides in an armed conflict . and its allies in the yemen war factories it seems the company also wants to make money. enemy iran which is on the other side in the war in yemen the united nations security council block the sale of air defense missiles from south africa called. subsidiary supplies the propellant.
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we wanted to find out what germany's leaders have to say about the country's largest arms manufacturer trying to evade german laws. every single member of the federal security council from the last legislature for an interview it's the committee that decides. which is being circumvented by. the germany's leading politicians were not willing to comment on the issue but. the same goes for those who moved from politics to. form a german development minister. is now the company's chief. german defense minister. recently joined the right supervisor. would give us an interview. in germany are incredibly close to the government because they play a role in. defense. policy and.
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they would claim in their public relations. which they are treated differently to most of the private companies. frank from germany's financial hub is where stocks are listed the share price has shot up thanks to the money made by south africa. in january twenty seventh. just on the sixty five euros each climbing to almost ninety by media and almost one hundred ten euros by the end of the year that's a rise of more than seventy percent within a year. many analysts recommend investing in. it's like this more conflict equals
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a greater need for security more defense expenditure this is indeed that's the chain. and in general the arms companies in different ways depending on what's in demand will profit from that. most shareholders probably don't even know that they profit when ryan mittal sells bombs to crisis regions investors with money in the day confound for example the fund which belongs to germany's she. is one of the biggest shareholders of. people with money and local investors one major fund did recently decide to divest its run metal shafts. an exception. as long as the majority of investors aren't interested it will only play a minor role for the share price. the outcry may be allowed but people keep on
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investing in it. because it's maybe the state has to intervene it will. we joined parliamentarian model b. lee on his way to collieries contain a pole in search of sardinians ramen town ball. he has found clues as to who ordered four hundred eleven million euros worth of munitions from ryan metallics italian subsidiary are w.-m. italian saudi arabia. but the government that they've essentially changed their strategy they used to fly the bombs out now the ships. we knew that this was the best place from which to take photos of the secret operations with no ban on cameras from here we recorded what actually happened that we don't usually eighteen containers
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a month were loaded up with one thousand to one thousand five hundred bombs. but i said to me let me get your question to all the people. from the internet that they were mainly transported by saudi arabian ships three or four belonging to the battery shipping company that was a dock and load up the saudis evidently decided to run the transport themselves. the military coalition in yemen needs a lot of bombs by the end of twenty seventeen saudi arabia and its allies had flown more than fifteen thousand air rage according to international experts almost a third of those rates it civilian targets. it's a profitable war even for small investors with shares in germany's biggest arms manufacturer a company that breaks free of german law that manufactures in countries with laxer
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export rules that finds ways to sell its austin all of destruction in crisis regions with no questions asked is this something society and politicians just have to accept in this era. of globalization no say legal experts and analysts at the german parliament the bundestag recently concluded that the law could stipulate that german authorities must give their approval if german citizens abroad help develop will produce alms such a law would at least make it more difficult. but there is no majority for a step like that in the bundestag. to now run metals business is completely within the law or in germany a country the prides itself on its lofty principles. kang
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