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Actually, the Gripen was the major alternative and would have been a lot cheaper than the Eurofighter. The military initially favoured the Gripen, as did the defence minister Scheibner (then FPOE). However, there was a very sudden change in opinion, allegedly due to some intervention of the (former FPOE) Finance Minister Grasser (a rather odious type as far as I'm concerned; also a creature of Haider), which contributed to the appearance that there had been some shady deals.
by Almanax on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 07:16:37 AM EST
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There was a Gripen-related tussle here in Hungary too, though in the end the Gripen won over Lockheed and its used F-16s.

BTW, what was Westenthaler's government position? I apparently mixed him up with Grasser in an earlier diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 07:22:38 AM EST
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Nevermind, I found the answer since: he was the faction chief, no minister.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 07:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right of course. Westenthaler was considered too controversial to give him a high government office. I referred to him as "prototype" insofar as he resembles other FPOE/BZOE types such as the former Vice-Chancellor Riess-Passer, the current one Gorbach, the Finance Minister Grasser or really any of the large number of ministers the FPOE has had in the last years (they had an amazing turnover as one minister after another proved unable to do his job well).
by Almanax on Wed Nov 1st, 2006 at 07:51:17 AM EST
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