Greece gets rebate on tank deal

A German company that had signed a 1.7-billion-euro deal to supply 170 tanks to the Greek army has agreed to provide the government with 100 million euros of credit for extra equipment after claims that the deal was overpriced, sources told Kathimerini. Arms company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) signed the deal with the PASOK government in March 2003. Under the terms of the contract, KMW was due to deliver the tanks between 2006-2009 but the deal was subject to continued scrutiny from the then opposition, New Democracy. The head of economic planning at the Defense Ministry, Giorgos Zorbas, set up a team to renegotiate the contract this summer. After several rounds of often stormy discussions, KMW has agreed to provide the Greek government with 50 million euros’ worth of extra equipment for free, as well as giving it another 50 million euros in credit for future purchases. In September, a German court cleared former Defense Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos of accusations by Der Speigel magazine that he sought to gain personally from the tanks’ purchase.