220 Million for the Advisers
Cover story: Discreet mediators, shady channels and gigantic bribes are believed to have helped the arms manufacturer Thyssen-Henschel to arrange for the sale of tanks to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Nineties - and to overcome the resistance of German politicians. The deal was remarkable: of the 446 million marks that Thyssen got from the Saudis some 220 million went toward commissions or useful expenditures - as bribes were known for decades in the jargon of tax declarations mostly transferred to the accounts of overseas firms at accommodation addresses. Some of it is even suspected to have been smuggled back to Germany.
Unesco Protection for Hitlers Bunker?
The German capital: In the government district of Berlin, construction workers have come upon parts of the Führers bunker rekindling the discussion about how the past should be handled. Historians demand that the remains be uncovered and a memorial set up, Daniel Goldhagen, a researcher into the National Socialist past, even wants the concrete ruins to be placed under international protection.
We Are in the Middle of a Storm
SPIEGEL in-depth interview with Philips boss Cor Boonstra on the problems with the restructuring of the traditional Dutch company and the future of consumer electronics:
We have thoroughly tidied up the former all-purpose general store and reduced our key sectors from twelve to seven, in which we are among the leading manufacturers world-wide The economic world order is still in a state of flux, which is why we will be forced to continue to move simple tasks out of countries like Belgium, Germany, France and Holland, also in the future. Only manufacturing processes that demand high technical standards make sense in these countries. There have certainly been some tough years and the business has also been up some dead ends. But in the coming years digitalisation will be giving consumer electronics an enormous boost. This industry is on the eve of a renaissance
Federal budget: The Hamburg insurance company Hermes AG, a subsidiary of the Allianz Group, stands surety on behalf of the Federal Government in over 30,000 instances a year, against payment of a fee, for exports to economically unstable countries in the Third World or Eastern Europe. This form of insurance against risk at the expense of the tax payer is a commonly practised method of export promotion in all Western industrial nations. However, the projects that are made possible in this way often cause considerable economic and ecological problems in the importing nations. The system generally results in a loss. Since 1983, the deficit has risen to over 26 billion marks. The Bundestag has practically no control over these budgetary billions, in addition to which the projects are all strictly secret. The laxness in awarding them is going to plunge the governing coalition into repeated new conflicts, just as in the case of arms exports. This means that there is a lot at stake, particularly for the Greens.
Dancing, Drinking and Weeping
Poland: The descendants of displaced Germans would like to live on their old family estates in Pomerania and Silesia once again. Most of them are not in a position to tackle the demands of reconstruction. But there is also a ray of hope.
We Need Strong Armed Forces
SPIEGEL interview with Turkish Defence Minister Sabahattin Çakmakoglu on the tank deal with Germany, Ankaras arming and the conflict with Nato partner Greece:
We are surrounded by ten neighbouring countries, almost all of which were once colonies of the Ottoman Empire. That still harbours the threat of animosity. We have to meet this hostility with strength. It is probably too early yet for a true political reconciliation with Greece. Progress in terms of our collaboration in the fields of tourism, economic relations and environmental issues cannot hide the fact that we have not come any closer to each other regarding the contentious political issues. In the Cyprus issue, we will be able to make some advance when the existence of two sovereign states on Cyprus is at last recognised.
Relics of the Cold War
SPIEGEL interview with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso on the Pinochet trial, Castros inability to undertake reforms and the battle against corruption at home:
Im all for introducing an international criminal court to deal with universal crimes such as the violation of human rights, or environmental offences. However so far there has not been any legitimate supra-national institution for such proceedings. We would like Cuba to continue to move closer to Latin America, but we dont intend to dictate to them. It is important that groups which have so far been excluded are also given some degree of influence. In a modern democracy, the direct representation via members of parliament is not the only means of exerting pressure.
Not Great Art Every Night
SPIEGEL in-depth interview with avant-garde composer and conductor Pierre Boulez on Bayreuth, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the chances of the New Music in the next century:
Im no prophet, but I bet that the New Music will become an essential and hence natural part of the repertoire, because musicians and audiences will gain in understanding and so lose their shyness, reservations and prejudices
Feeling of Strength
Exhibition: The Wolfsburg exhibition German Open celebrates a new, very much alive German art scene. But the up-and-coming generation no longer dreams of a putsch: it is staging its own greatness in a saucy and colourful way. Retro aesthetics or trash look: everything that has been washed to the surface by fashion may be found in the exhibition. Only a lot more aggressively. The young artists experiment without restraint, helping themselves nonchalantly to examples from the past, from pop art to sparse objects made of plywood and aluminium foil. But perhaps the change in generation is only a collective hallucination. The suspicion suggests itself because collectors, gallery owners and many a museum director are panting for new material. Some of the artists on display in Wolfsburg as being brand-new, already exhibited their work at the beginning of the decade. The exhibition certainly is not representative for the country or even a single generation of this county.
The Belgrade Party
Yugoslavia: The inhabitants of the Yugoslav capital are steeling themselves for a long winter with dictator Milosevic. The standard of living has dropped dramatically. But a new elite grown rich on black-market business is practising dancing on the volcano. Belgrade is going rapidly downhill. Inflation has reached a level of 15 percent, the dinar has dropped to one third of its official value against the German mark. Large sectors of industrial production have come to a standstill. European and US companies are prohibited from trading with Yugoslavia, and there are no direct flights to or from the West. Serbia, the only country in the world to be governed by a man internationally charged with war crimes, is isolated. Many young people with university degrees and a preference for honest work left long ago: over 300,000 have fled the republic, an enormous intellectual bleeding. Most of those between the ages of 18 and 30 who have remained see little point in pursuing a regular job or even striving to find one. An entire generation appears to want to dispense with growing up altogether. The world has said farewell to them, so they are taking time out from the world. What counts is the moment: fun, fun, fun. Belgrades youth no longer believes in a future. It is breathing life and happiness in the here and now little caring whether it is on the verge or even beyond the limits of the law.
Furious Attacks and the Desire to Kill
Photography: A student of photography travelled to the Balkans to document everyday life during the war. The result is a monumental library of horrors. The project consists of an impressive photographic database: 5000 pictures document the horrors of the Balkan war since 1991. They tell tales of humiliation, destruction and hopelessness, of hunger, poverty and desperate attempts to survive, but also of moments of dignity and pride an unusual compendium, sad, moving, entirely without pathos.
Miracle in the Oilpan
Automobiles: Are millions of tons of engine oil being changed unnecessarily?S Reports of surprising successes achieved by a filter manufacturer are putting pressure on the car and petroleum industries.
Things Ran Their Course
Hans Modrow: The Prime Minister of 150 days was overtaken by the East Germans desire for unification. During the decisive weeks, the last SED-backed Prime Minister misjudged the true situation in a number of respects.