War of the Multirole Corvette: France and the Netherlands in the € 1.6 billion dispute in Romania (2)

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By Constantin Radut
Until an international tender for the acquisition of corvettes for the Romanian Naval Forces, the Dutch Damen Group is back in the game.
South Koreans at the Mangalia shipyard (Black Sea) are in financial difficulty and have to sell 51% of the shares. Buyer will be Damen Group. But the Romanian State opposes the shipyard to be taken over by Damen Group.Under an agreement, Damen Group sells 2% of 51% of the shares to the Romanian State. Finally, the shareholding is 51% of the Romanian State through the Economy Minster and 49% of the Damen Group. The Dutch group will take over the management of Mangalia Shipyard.
The operation was based on Romanian legislation, not by “black” agreement, as our colleague at La Tribune believes.
The international tender for the construction of corvettes
Damen’s takeover of management at Mangalia Shipyard did not pave the way for the € 1.6 billion contract for the construction of the four ships for the Army.
In February 2018, the Government decided that CN Romtehnica SA, on behalf of the Ministry of National Defense, would organize an international tender. The call for expressions of interest was launched on 26 February 2018, with the following timetable: submission of applications – 10 April 2018; transmission of the results of the qualification round – April 25, 2018; sending invitations to participate in the dialogue stage – April 27, 2018; submission of preliminary technical and financial bids – June 18, 2018; transmission of the results of the dialogue stage and of the invitation to submit the final offer – August 13, 2018; submission of final bids – September 17, 2018; the finalization of the procedure by choosing the winning constructor – October 26, 2018. Three competitors took part in the race: Damen from the Netherlands (owner of the shipyards in Galaţi and Mangalia in Romania), Fincantieri from Italy (controlling the shipyards from Braila and Tulcea ) and the Naval Group in France (which has a partnership with Constanţa Shipyard).
The international tender was not arranged, as some sources insinuated at the time.
On November 5, the bids were as follows: Fincantieri – 1.34 billion euros, Damen – 1.255 billion and Naval Group – 1.2 billion euros. The French had the best price.
From now on, there is a period of suspicion.
The final decision on the auction winner is not announced on November 15, as expected.
Moreover, a few days after this term, Minister of National Defense, Mihai Fifor, is replaced by the position.
At the beginning of December 2018, the new Minister of National Defense is Gabriel Les. He was the minister’s staff two years earlier.
He decides that the winner of the auction for the four corvettes will be announced in January 2019 after careful consideration of all the elements that interest the beneficiary and the strategic objectives of Romania.
At this point, Mr. Michel Cabirol points out in the text published in the French weekly La Tribune that Romania is playing incorrectly. As a result, Mr. Cabirol threatens, that the Paris army minister will intervene and it will pull the ears the army’s Romanian Minister.
A colonial custom.
The imperialist mentalities.
Mr. Michel Cabirol should show more decency. And respect.
Does he want to remind us how “plays” France in the scandal between Renault and Nissan?
No, it’s the matter of justice.
That is how the French journalist and the situation in Romania must interpret. The winner of the auction will be transparent and within the limits of the law.
Minister Gabriel Les said that offers of companies interested in the production of corvettes will be analyzed by a commission set up at the level of the Department of Arms in the Ministry of National Defense.
“We are still in term … by January 12, after my calculations,” Les said.
He acknowledged that the specific procedure could be canceled if, at the end of the evaluation, the tenders did not meet the operational requirements or if there were no funds needed to sign and run the multi-annual contract.
Clearly and unequivocally.

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