Germany authorised a record number of arms sales in 2019, after a three-year dip. With a volume of €7.95 billion, it exceeded the top sales from 2015.

According to Germany’s ministry of economics, the main buyer was Hungary (€1.77 billion). That is roughly a quarter of all the authorised arms exports. Victor Orban is currently modernising his country’s military and is planning to double Hungary’s defence expenses.

Hungary, Algeria and Egypt

Algeria currently ranks second as a buyer of German arms with €843 million, followed by Egypt (€651 million).

Some of the other countries in Germany’s top ten buyers’ list include some that have been widely criticised due to their human rights records, such as the UAE (ranking eighth with €257 million) and Qatar, ranking ninth with €236 million.

German opposition politicians have criticised the new record numbers.

“All this talk about a restrictive arms policy is falling like a house of cards. Numbers also show that the entire system of export control isn’t working. We now need clear, legal bans for arms sales.”
“This is Germany’s Christmas present to the world: As many arms exports as never before. Especially to rightwing authoritarian governments such as Hungary and military dictatorships such as Egypt. And of course, to Turkey.”

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