Mr. Jürgen Grässlin, Freiburg
Regarding Item 3 of the Agenda:
»The actions of the members of the Board of Management are not to be ratified.«
WAR IS GOOD FOR THE GROUP'S BUSINESS:
WEAPONS FOR THE GADDAFI REGIME
Daimler AG is the leading producer and exporter of military vehicles in Europe. At the same time, Daimler AG is the leading holder of voting rights in the armaments giant European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS N.V.). In the worldwide ranking, EADS is seventh among the major armaments-exporting corporations.
Due to the supply of weapons and armaments to the opposing parties in the conflict, Daimler AG is profiting from the armed conflict in Libya. How close the business relations were with the dictatorial regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi before the war broke out is demonstrated by the fact that EADS set up its own representative office in Tripoli, the capital of Libya (to be contacted by telephone at +218 21 335-1026, by fax at -1257). This opened the doors for the arms trade with the dictator.
Daimler/EADS has supplied antitank missiles of the type MILAN 3 to the Libyan military for an amount of 168 million euros. The MILAN missiles (Missile d'Infanterie Léger ANti-char) were produced by MBDA Systems. EADS is the leading shareholder in MBDA with an equity interest of 37.5 percent. MBDA advertises its antitank missile as a particularly precise weapon featuring »improved kill potential."
The launch systems of the antitank missiles were produced by the company LFK (Lenkflugkörper = guided missiles) in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria, which also belongs to
the EADS group. These weapons transfers took place in the years 2009 and 2010.
Mercedes military vehicles of the type ACTROS 4860 transported tanks of the Libyan armed forces into the war zone towards Bengazi. This is shown by film reports on www.youtube.com. Libya also has Mercedes Unimogs. See the information brochure »Daimler AG: Military Trucks" (accessible at www.kritischeaktionaere.de).
WAR IS GOOD FOR THE GROUP'S BUSINESS:
WEAPONS FOR GADDAFI'S ENEMY
War is good for the business of Daimler/EADS – above all, when the opposing parties are making war on each other with weapons and armaments from the same group of companies or their subsidiaries.
EADS boasts that the Eurofighter/Typhoon is the »most up-to-date and effective multi-purpose combat aircraft of the new generation available on the market." In the attacks of the British air force and allies on airbases and positions of the Libyan army in spring 2011, EADS weapons with German components have been and are being used by the Eurofighters and Tornado combat aircraft. For example, EADS produces the center section of the Eurofighter fuselage in Varel; assembly is at Cassidian in Manching.
WAR WITH DAIMLER/EADS WEAPONS IS POISON FOR
THE CREDIBILITY OF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
In Annual Report 2010, Board of Management Chairman Dieter Zetsche promises »the Group-wide anchoring of exemplary global business ethics." The Code of Ethics obliges members of the Board of Management to avoid »misconduct" and to promote »ethical behavior." The EADS management – which has close personnel links with the Daimler management – has declared that the »application of the highest moral standards" are the basis of its actions.
Such promises and internal Group guidelines are not worth the paper they are printed on. Libya is one of those states that massively violate human rights and civil rights. The AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2010 describes the situation of human rights as follows: »The rights to the free expression of opinion, freedom of association and assembly remain severely restricted."
The Libyan regime has ruthlessly carried out the death penalty and still does. As justification, »a large number of offenses" are quoted, including »the peaceful exercise of the rights to free speech and assembly." Regime critics have paid for their demands for democratic codetermination with their lives. Nonetheless, the culprits, the dictatorial Gaddafi regime, received Mercedes military vehicles and Daimler/EADS weapons.
There could not be a greater discrepancy between the verbal claim to ethically responsible action and the reality of a fully uninhibited armaments export policy. Whoever as a member of the Daimler Board of Management has for years failed to prevent the supply of weapons and military vehicles to dictators and pseudo-democrats – as in Egypt, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others – is morally co-responsible for the use of those weapons and for the victims of wars and civil wars.
I will be pleased to respond to any inquiries (firstname.lastname@example.org). For further information, see the websites www.juergengraesslin.com, Umbrella Association of Critical Shareholders (www.kritischeaktionaere.de), German Peace Association – United Opponents of Military Service, DFG-VK (www.dfg-vk.de) and Armaments Information Bureau, RIB e.V. (www.rib-ev.de).«