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Federal government clings to a bottomless pit

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HB BERLIN. The EU expects a cost increase of nearly one-third or 1.5 to 1.7 billion euros, as stated in a report by the Federal Government to the project, was present to Reuters on Thursday. Current level of 5.2 billion was planned. Who bears the additional costs is open. Moreover, the system will also write to the now fully operational until the year 2018 expected start losses. "Overall, are likely to current estimates assume that the operating costs exceed the direct revenue in the long term," it says. The annual deficit is estimated at 750 million €. "The revenue streams will be much lower than originally expected," wrote the federal government. "It is a hammer," said the SPD and warned that Galileo will grant a permanent operation.

Federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer but stressed the benefits of the project: It is for all of Europe is of paramount strategic importance, since it is independent from the U.S. GPS satellite system do. Galileo was the transport sector also have a strong impact on security core areas of the States, said the CSU politician.

The launch of the first two Galileo satellites is expected according to the report now only in the third quarter of 2011. This Galileo would ten years later than originally planned done. Galileo is currently in development, in parallel with the construction phase has begun. It should now join the latest from 2018, the operation. Galileo is expected to take so GPS capabilities and about the traffic control and the toll to be usable. Already, the German truck toll is based on a satellite-based system. The economic benefits of Galileo in 2027 is estimated to total 90 billion euros.

The government report points out, however, that the EU Commission, Parliament and the Council further funds for Galileo would only be made available when the multi-year financial projections of the total EU would not burst. For the operational phase, according to the report also considered to involve private investors. It should also help give more this year, proposals by the EU.

The federal government now pervade the fact that the EU is examining whether the project was not to slim down. Government sources said they also hopes that additional costs through savings in other areas – for example, agricultural spending – to apply. Even in October, the EU wants to present an analysis.

The air and space co-ordinator of the Federation, Peter Hintze is, however, despite the extra costs assumes that the project is fully implemented. "Galileo comes to security," he told Reuters. "It’s one of the most important technology projects of the EU and of immense economic benefit." Hintze also argued against stripped-down versions "only as a full system, it offers real added value to the existing system."

The SPD budget expert Klaus Hagemann criticized that only now becoming known that Galileo will not cash cow, but a permanent operating subsidy. "It must now quickly a lot of ‘brain power’ is used on developing commercial services for the satellite based navigation system."

The first 14 of the 30 satellites for the system to be built by Bremer aerospace group OHB. The second installment will once again according to the EU Commission and the German OHB rival EADS-Astrium EADS allowed to operate. OHB stressed, neither price increases nor delays had to do with the company. "We are on schedule," said a spokesman. The last of the ordered 14 satellites could be launched in early 2014th