German arms industry needs consolidation, says Economy Minister

BERLIN Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:45am EDT

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BERLIN Aug 19 (Reuters) - Germany's arms industry needs "consolidation and Europeanisation", Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday after meeting leaders of about 20 works councils from companies involved in weapons manufacturing.

"It makes no sense for Europe to have different firms making the same weapons systems," said Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats, adding that the German arms industry should begin a long-overdue process of consolidation with its European peers.

Gabriel has introduced a more restrictive policy on arms exports which observers say could hurt business for some firms in the industry and put jobs at risk. He is to hold talks with executives and unions from the entire sector in early September. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Stephen Brown)

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