Germany's Scholz calls for urgent 'mass production' of European arms

Europe must ramp up production of armaments massively and urgently, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Monday, warning that the continent now “does not live in times of peace”.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for Rheinmetall’s new munitions factory, Scholz said European nations must pool together orders and financing to provide the defence industry with purchase guarantees for the next decades.

“This is urgently necessary because the painful reality is that we do not live in times of peace,” he said, pointing to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

“We must move from manufacturing to mass production of armaments,” he said, arguing that “those who want peace must be able to successfully deter aggressors”.

Weighed down by its militaristic past, Germany has in recent decades been circumspect about its defence forces and armaments industry.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 upended Berlin’s post-World War II pacifist tendencies, and forced its transformation into a proponent of heavy rearmament.

Germany is now Ukraine’s second biggest weapons contributor, and Scholz has been vocal in pushing other EU nations to give more.

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