New problems with the rehabilitation of the Gorch Fock policy

  • The general contractor for the rehabilitation of Gorch Fock seems to have far more financial difficulties than previously thought.
  • The costs for the rehabilitation of the training ship of the Bundeswehr have exploded. Mismanagement of the Ministry of Defense has contributed to this.
  • Now the question arises whether the shipyard would be able to completely renovate the ship.

From Mike Szymansky, Berlin

In the renovation of the sail training ship Gorch Fock new difficulties are emerging. According to information of South German newspaper The Elsflether Werft, which acts as general contractor for the work, has far greater financial difficulties than previously thought.

For example, accounts receivable charged the shipyard with suppliers. According to SZ information, it is about more than 20 million euros, which the yard should owe subcontractors. In addition, money from orders such as the rehabilitation of the Gorch Fock apparently flowed into a series of questionable loans to which the shipyard had no access so quickly, was reported from their environment. Both together put the shipyard in a position that questioned the ability to act of the company, it was said. Insolvency is now considered no longer excluded.

Cemetery or new future

Defense Minister Von der Leyen wants to test "as fast as possible" whether the sail training ship to be rehabilitated is still floating at all.By Mike Szymanski


This Wednesday, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) wants to inform in the Budget Committee of the Bundestag about the problems in the rehabilitation of the Gorch Fock. Years of mismanagement on the part of the Ministry have contributed to the cost skyrocketing from ten to 135 million euros. The future of the Gorch Fock is at stake. Von der Leyen has not yet decided whether the renovation should be continued to the end.

Now the question arises whether the yard is still in a position to do so. In December it had become known that it had apparently come to a corruption case at the shipyard. A price inspector of the Bundeswehr is said to have bribed. The prosecution determined. Gradually came to infidelity allegations against the old shipyard management. It has since been discontinued.

A new management strives to provide clarity. When reviewing the books and in numerous discussions, it encountered considerable receivables from suppliers and subcontractors. Also in the millions of loans were lent by the yard – to sub-companies, which were partly in the possession of the old management.

From circles of the defense committee in Berlin it was said on Tuesday, the shipyard was so systematic and on a large scale money withdrawn. Behind it, apparently, "considerable criminal energy." Fraud allegations had previously vehemently rejected the old management.

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