VIENNA – Airbus’ admission of bribery brings fresh momentum into a long-lasting investigation

The affair surrounding Austria’s purchase of 18 “Eurofighter” jets from Airbus in 2003 has been the subject of investigation for many years, as it was suspected that Airbus bribed officials into buying their jets even though Saab had offered a better deal.

Although a Viennese court opened a case against the aviation giant in 2017, the evidence only appears to be strong enough as of now. Airbus admitted to wrongdoing in connection to the sale of Eurofighters to Austria, mentioning in particular “political contributions” to key stakeholders. Yet, what remains unclear is who exactly had been paid in Austria.

Hans-Peter Doskozil of the Socialist Party(SPÖ), who as defence minister initiated the lawsuit against Airbus in 2017, demanded to use this new information to finally identify the Austrian profiteers. Back in 2003, the ÖVP (in power today) ruled with the right-wing FPÖ. The current defence minister, Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP), demanded compensation from Airbus. (Philipp Grüll | EURACTIV.de)

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