Berlin is unhappy about a weapons deal in which France plans to supply warships to highly indebted Greece free of charge for the first five years, and at a big discount when payment comes due. Firms and politicians in Germany say taxpayers may end up paying for part of the deal, and they want Chancellor Angela Merkel to intervene, a report from SPIEGEL Online said on Monday. According to the article, France apparently wants to deliver two to four new frigates to the Greek navy and to allow the highly indebted nation to postpone payment of the 300 million Euros, purchase price per ship for the next five years.
Under the deal, Greece is going to have the option of paying up after five years, with a significant discount of €100 million, or returning them to the French navy. The “stealth” frigates are designed to avoid detection by enemy radar and are built by state-owned French defense company DCNS. The deal is being criticized by German rivals that have been competing for the contract for years.
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