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Defense Ministry Denies Contract Allegations

The German defense ministry has denied charges that the Social Democrat-Green coalition has doled out external consultation contracts worth more €500 million ($633 million) since coming to power in 1998. On Friday, a spokesman for Defense Minister Peter Struck dismissed allegations in the tabloid Bild that more than 850 consultation contracts were handed out by the government. The spokesman said the accusations don't hold as the contracts leased out include service and labor contracts. Earlier, the opposition Christian Democrat budget expert Dietrich Austermann had criticized the government for not opening the contracts up for bids.