Addressed by Jürgen Grässlin
The spoken word is valid.
Respected Executive Board Members,
I am speaking in the name of the German Peace Society - United Conscientious Objectors in Velbert, the Armaments Information Office in Freiburg and the Critical Shareholders of DaimlerChrysler in Stuttgart, Germany. These peace organisations intentionally did not buy a larger block of shares of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. But as representatives of an ethically responsible kind of thinking, which is orientated towards disarmament and ecology, we speak for a relevant part of the German society. Especially in Germany, arms producers and arms exporters are seen critically. And especially then when they supply dual-use goods, which can be used for civil purposes as well as military purposes, or weapons to countries which violate human rights and to areas of conflict.
EADS is the second largest armaments giant in Europe and the seventh largest in the world. In the fiscal year 2004, 24% of the EADS earnings were made with the production of the Eurofighter, the combat helicopter NH90, the military transporter A400M and numerous other armaments projects, for example aircraft carriers for nuclear weapons or mine laying systems. This results in 7.622 billion in earnings by means of the production and the export of weapons of war.
With more than 30% of the shares, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation is one of the two largest shareholders of EADS. As speaker of the Critical Shareholders of DaimlerChrysler, I already asked many of the questions to be asked today at the Annual Meeting of the DaimlerChrysler Corporation. Chairman Jürgen E. Schrempp made the suggestion repeatedly to me and my supporters, that I ask my questions at the Annual General Meeting of EADS. I am following Mr. Schrempp's suggestion today.
With a few exceptions, I am directing my questions specifically towards the representative of DaimlerChrysler on the new Board of Directors: to you, Dr. Bischoff, as designated EADS Chairman, to you Dr. Enders, as designated Chief Executive Officer, as well as to Mr. Ring and Dr. Grube.
EADS advertising for landmines
For years we critical shareholders have denounced the advertisement of RTG-Euromunition for the MIFF (»mini-flat-flat) and MUSPA (»splinter-surface-barrage mine«). EADS participates with 50% by RTG-Euromunition. The information of RTG-Euromunition is that these types of mines are not to be produced anymore since 1994. But both types of mines were still being offered in December 2004 in the internet with the names PATS and PAAS under www.rtg-e.de. Here I show you my prints of these internet pages.
Question 1: With what purpose did the EADS Holding Company RTG-Euromunition advertise the mine types MIFF and MUSPA under the names PAAS and PATS during the fiscal year of 2004 on the RTG website in the internet?
Question 2: Today the internet site www.rtg-e.de is blocked. For weeks the only sentence shown is: »A new internet presence is being prepared.« Why was the access to the homepage of the RTG-Euromunition blocked?
UNICEF, the children's help organization of the United Nations has drawn the proper consequences. In a letter to Holger Rothbauer, also a speaker of the Critical Shareholders of DaimlerChrysler, UNICEF Geneva wrote the following: »At present, based mainly on the ownership interests in EADS and in turn in RTG-Euromunition, we do not count DaimlerChrysler as one of our partners or allies.«
Question 3: How does EADS judge the refusal of UNICEF to view DaimlerChrysler as a partner or ally in the future?
Gentlemen, your strategy of hushing up the advertisement of mines by EADS-DaimlerChrysler will not be successful. On March 18, 2005, less than a month ago, Report Mainz reported at length about the landmine advertising of DaimlerChrysler-EADS and the position of UNICEF. »The affair is explosive for DaimlerChrysler because the mines we are talking about are especially malicious« - this was the judgement of the ARD Political Magazine.
Question 4: Is the following statement of Thomas Küchenmeister of the International Action Coalition to Ban Landmines, made public in the Report Mainz broadcast correct? »According to our sources both mines have a splinter effect, that is to say, one of these mines cannot be inactivated, which means that if someone touches it, it explodes. So it is an anti-personnel mine.«
Gentlemen, landmines of any kind - whether they are anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines, or anti-aircraft mines - are inhuman. The German Army has RTG-mines in its stock until the present day. I demand of you, that you immediately stop producing and advertising of every kind of landmine by EADS and its affiliates and that you renounce the development of new landmines - also in form of so-called submunition - in the future.
EADS is also involved in the business with cluster bombs. This is exactly what is documented in films of the international armaments fair EUROSATORY in Paris in June 2004. At the stand of the MDBA, a participating corporation of EADS, a poster for 2005 showed the production of missiles which scatter their submunition over wide areas - which is forbidden by the Geneva Convention.
In cooperation with the US-American licence-giver Lockheed Martin, EADS offers missiles with cluster bombs for the rocket launcher MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).
Question 5: How can EADS be sure that when MLRS rockets, which shoot thousands of bomblets from 12 gun-carriages indiscriminately over an area as large as one square kilometre, are fired, innocent civilians will not be hit?
Question 6: Does EADS intend to continue producing cluster bombs or systems for distributing cluster bombs?
A short time ago the cluster ammunition dispenser AFDS (Autonomous Freeflight Dispenser System) was described on the EADS website as being in serial production. In the meantime this information was taken out of the net.
Question 7: Has the production of the cluster ammunition dispenser AFDS been stopped? If not: For which contractor is the AFDS being produced?
On its website, the company TDA - Armaments SAS, a 98% daughter of EADS, offers tank mines and cluster bomb missiles of the model LR36-38 for the battle tank Tiger, which is also produced by EADS.
Question 8: For which contractor are these cluster munition rockets LR36-38 produced?
At this point I want to especially emphasize that cluster bombs on the battleground - for example, in Kosovo - hit primarily the civilian population - that is, defenceless children, women and old people. The deployment of cluster bombs violates international law. I demand of you, that you immediately stop the production of cluster bombs and that you declare publicly that you will never again take up these weapons in your program of products.
EADS-Participation in the French Atomic Program
At the end of 2004, EADS received a contract from the French Ministry of Defense to produce new carrier missiles for M51-atomic warheads. From the year 2010 on, these missiles are to be stationed on four French atomic submarines.
Another contract covers the extension of the range of the ASMP-cruise missiles. The new missile is to fly 500 instead of the previous 300 kilometres and be at disposal for the armament of the Mirage 2000N from 2007 on and for the armament of the Rafale from 2008 on. The value of the contract is to be 117.5 million dollars.
The Board of Directors of the DaimlerChrysler Corporation confirmed at the Annual Meeting of 2004, that EADS will develop and produce carrier systems for M51-atomic warheads among other things. As so often before, the Daimler board refered to the fact, that related questions should be asked at the EADS Annual General Meeting. I will do this with the following questions:
Question 9: Are components for carrier systems for atomic weapons being developed or produced in the German EADS companies? If yes, which components and which German EADS companies are involved?
Question 10: In which other companies and at which other locations of EADS in other countries are components for atomic weapons carrier systems being developed or produced?
Question 11: How can the participation in atomic weapons programs be compatible with the »ethical responsibility of the company« as sworn to in the latest summary of the Board of Directors (EADS Information for the Annual General Meeting 2005, page 5)?
Question 12: Who or which company develops and produces the atomic warheads which are to be mounted on the EADS-carrier systems?
The International Court of Law ascertained in an expert opinion of 1996, that atomic weapons break international law. According to a statement of General a.D. Lee Butler, ex-commander of the US-atomic forces, atomic weapons are »dangerous, extremely expensive, militarily inefficient.« According to a decision of the Ecumenical Advisory Council in Vancouver in 1983, atomic weapons represent »a crime against humanity«. In a declaration, 75 catholic bishops ascertained that atomic weapons are »worth being morally detested«.
I demand emphatically, that you get out of the production of carrier systems for atomic weapons. If you are too late you may make yourselves guilty as the responsible EADS directors for the death and maiming of innumerable people.
EADS-Dual-Use Exports to China
In another case, the members of the Board of Directors also burden themselves heavily with guilt: For years EADS profits from the cooperation with Chinese security forces in the helicopter business. According to the EADS-homepage, Eurocopter, the leading producer of helicopters on the world market, signed a framework agreement with AVIC II for the joint development and production of a new all-purpose helicopter. It is to be marketed in the year 2010. As early as June 2004 a further contract was signed in Paris. This contract plans the construction of a production line for EC 120 helicopters in Harbin.
EADS proclaims on its homepage: »The promising market for helicopters in China is the field of emergency, rescue, and police deployment, in which the EC135 and the EC145 helicopters are the most uniquely equipped worldwide.« In this context the fact is hushed up that the human rights situation in China is dramatic and especially the security forces - police and military - have been practicing the worst violations of human rights for years. I just call your attention to the massacre perpetrated by state security forces on the Tiananmen Square in Peking.
The human rights situation in the year 2004, in which EADS sealed the above mentioned helicopter contracts with the police, is described by the renowned human rights organisation amnesty international in its yearly report of 2004 (page322 and the following) as follows: »In Tibet and other areas of settlement by the Tibetans, the right of free speech and the religious freedom were subject to far-reaching limitations The Chinese government continued to use the international »war against terrorism« as a pretext for massively suppressing peacefully expressed criticism Until the end of the year amnesty international had registered a sum of 1639 death sentences and 726 executions, although the actual numbers are supposed to be much higher.« Amnesty international continues to criticize the repression through state authorities and powers of security, who proceed with merciless brutality against peaceful critics and demonstrators.
Question 13: Is the assertion correct, that the Bavaria-Chemistry Corporation in which EADS participates with 50%, delivers powering technology to China which is built into missiles?
Question 14: Which contractual and other precautionary measures have been taken by EADS to prevent the EC120 and other helicopters from being used by Chinese security forces - army and police - for human rights violations?
Question 15: Is the assertion correct, according to which EADS participated for the first time with a stand at a police equipment fair in China, although thousands of people are executed each year in the country by security forces?
Question 16: What is the context of the internal corporate guidelines of EADS to the delivery of dual-use goods and to arms exports into countries which massively violate human rights as China does?
EADS, which has massive military interests in China, would profit from the elimination of the weapons embargo against her. The wish to earn billions with the military transporter A400M is obvious. Until the present day it is quite evident that the EADS motto is: Human rights? No thanks! EADS is supported in this respect by the German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who thinks jobs in the arms industry are more important than human rights.
Mr. Bischoff, Mr. Enders, Gentlemen of the Board of Directors: Due to the disastrous situation of human rights in China, I demand that you immediately stop all business with dual-use goods and weapons with the regime in China, because these delivered goods are used or can be used by the security forces to perpetrate human rights violations.
EADS & Party-Spending
The reference to Gerhard Schroeder brings me to my last subject, which is party-spending. In December 2004 it became known, that EADS had donated 44 000 as a whole in the year 2002 to SPD/GREENS and CDU/CSU/FDP, with 59,1% going to SPD/Green and 40,9% going to CDU/CSU/FDP.
Question 17: How high were the allocations in detail to the CDU, the CSU, the FDP, the SPD and THE GREENS in the year of 2002? (detailed list of the parties).
Question 18: How high were the financial allocations to political parties in the Republic of Germany in the years 2003 and 2004? (detailed list of the parties).
Question 19: How do the German representatives of the Board of Directors assess the approval of the missile defence system MEADS by Coalition 90/THE GREENS? Will the Coalition 90/THE GREENS also receive party- spending in the future after their approval of MEADS?
Question 20: What expectations does EADS have in connection with the financial donations to the political parties in Germany?
On the one hand, EADS profits from procurement contracts in the billions from representatives of the government and the opposition, for example, in the household and defence committees of the German Parliament. On the other hand, EADS showers political parties with financial allocations. This bribery should be stopped immediately. Renounce party-spending and donate the money you save to the relatives of the victims of your arms export policies.
Let me end with the following summary: EADS is a concern which does business not only in civil realms - with Airbus primarily -, but which also participates massively with dual-use goods and weapons-exports in killing all over the world. Get out of the »business with death« and convert your production to meaningful, purely civil production.
Thank you very much,
View at the table of the Board of Directors
after the Annual General Meeting on May 11th, 2005 in the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport
Hotel. Official texts and photos look at the EADS-Homepage www.eads.com
German Peace Society - United Conscientious
Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK)
Schwanenstraße 16, 42551 Velbert, Germany
Tel. (0)2051-4217, Fax (0)2051-4210
Critical Shareholders of DaimlerChrysler
Kritische AktionärInnen DaimlerChrysler (KADC)
c/o Paul Russmann
Ohne Rüstung Leben (Live without Arms)
Arndtstraße 31, 70197 Stuttgart, Germany
Tel. (0)711 608396, Fax (0)711 608357
Umbrella Organisation of the Critical
Dachverband Kritische AktionärInnen
c/o Henry Mathews
Ebertplatz 12, 50668 Köln, Germany
Tel. (0)221 599 5647, Fax (0)221 599 1024
Jürgen Grässlin is the author of numerous
books like »Daimler-Benz. The Company and its Republic« and »Jürgen Schrempp and the Making of an Auto Dynasty« and »The Daimler-Disaster«. Grässlin is the
speaker of the Critical Shareholders DaimlerChrysler (KADC), the national speaker of the
German Peace Society - United Conscientious Objectors (DFG-VK), the German Action Network
to Stop Small Weapons (DAKS) and a member of the board of directors of
the Armaments Information Office (RIB e.V.).
Many thanks for translation to Virginia Edwards, Armaments Information Office