Sunday, 23 January 2011

The real Galileo story

Christopher Booker, writing in the Telegraph, gives us the real story behind the EU´s scandal-ridden Galileo project:

The cover story for Galileo, from the time of its launch in 2000, was that it was a civil project, largely to be paid for by private investors, who could then charge its users. GPS, on the other hand, is funded by US taxpayers as an openly military project, which is why its spin-off uses, such as to the owners of sat-navs, are free. It was hoped that Galileo could be paid for through a satellite-based road-charging scheme across the EU. But in 2007, after it became clear that this was not viable, the private partners pulled out, landing the entire, ever-rising bill on EU taxpayers.

The real story of Galileo, however – as a French defence minister admitted in 2004, and as I have been reporting here for years – is that it has always been pushed by France as a military system which in time of war could operate independently of the US system. It is seen as the key to France selling billions of pounds worth of satellite-guided missiles, above all to China, which in 2003 bought a 20 per cent share in Galileo.

Read the entire column here.

As we reported earlier, The CEO of the German satellite technology company OHB System was suspended because he told senior American officials at a private dinner that Galileo was a "stupid idea" intended only to serve French interests.

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