The police are being used to protect the foreign interests of German firms

The German media at the end of May revealed information on training offered by the federal police (Bundespolizei) to the Saudi Arabian security service. The training is one of the conditions provided in the contract signed by Cassidian, the company covering the modernisation of the infrastructure of the Saudi Arabian border services. This is an example of the German government’s unofficial support to exports and investments of the German arms industry abroad.
According to the German Interior Ministry, 79 police officers have reportedly trained Saudi border service staff since 2009 under the German-Saudi governmental agreement on co-operation in the security sector signed in May 2009. The training is one of the conditions of the multi-billion contract Cassidian – a company controlled by the European corporation EADS based in Germany – concluded with Saudi Arabia in June 2009. This thesis has also been backed by information that Cassidian co-finances the remuneration of the German trainers and the words of gratitude from representatives of the firm to the German government for its support. According to German media reports, the training also covers other Saudi law enforcement services and concern for example responding to crisis situations (such as demonstrations). The German press is critical about this issue, recalling the bloody suppression of the most recent public protests in Bahrain by the Saudi security services. Despite the criticism from public opinion, supporting the German arms industry seems to be a priority issue for the German government, even if it raises controversies. <jus>