October 17, 2010

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17 October 2010 8:53 AM

Britain must now pay almost £3bn for secretive EU Star Wars project

 

Galileosat dm Taxpayers in the EU are now going to be forced to pay a phenomenal €22.2bn -- more than £19bn -- to develop and run the Galileo satellite project. According to research out today from Open Europe, Britain's contribution to the cost of the project will be £2.95bn, up from the original estimate of £385m.

  Galileo is a vanity project set up to ensure that Brussels has its own version of the American-run GPS satellite navigation system. It is also, though the eurocrats don't like to talk about it, part of the EU's secretive drive to establish a military space policy. As far back as 2007 the French ministry of defence announced that space should act as 'a unifier in the emergence of a European Defence.' Sarkozy, you see, fancies himself as the commander of a 'European defence.'

Galileo will therefore be connected to both military and civilian authorities. According to a 2008 report by the Transnational Institute, an Amsterdam-based think-tank: 'Contrary to the US, where most space initiatives have a clear military label, within the EU the issue is still caught up in much secretiveness.'

'Navigation and observation satellites today play an active and crucial role in many different aspects of warfare, from intelligence gathering and communications, to missile and munitions guidance.'

'The desire for European military autonomy is at least part of the reason why the EU has proceeded with Galileo.' It would be vital in any European army deployment of the sort of GPS-guided artillery used by the Americans in Afghanistan.

When the idea was hatched, EU taxpayers were told that private investors would join in Galileo. But investors have since pulled out, saying the project -- now delayed at least until 2017 or 2018 -- has no commercial prospects. According to Open Europe, the Americans, Russians, Chinese, Indians and Japanese have all either launched, or are soon to launch, their own sat-nav systems. So the market share on which the member countries were sold this Galileo wheeze by Brussels is near-vanished.

The whole thing is just a combination of EU vanity and a sly attempt to develop Star Wars technologies for a wannabe Euro-army.

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