Europe

Austria pressing fraud charges against Airbus over fighters

Austria's government is asking state prosecutors to press fraud charges of against Airbus and an affiliated company, alleging they overcharged for 15 combat aircraft and demanding refunds for the purchase.

The accusation against Airbus Defence and Space GmbH and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH is based on Austria's purchase of 15 used Eurofighter Typhoon planes, in 2007 for 1.56 billion euros — $1.7 billion at the present exchange rate.

Finance Ministry official Wolfgang Peschorn said Thursday that Austria's claims could reach 1.1 billion euros ($1.17 billion.)

He says the amount includes a refund for the purchase price minus depreciation and operating costs minus operating costs for an alternate system.

Officials say that even if those demands are rejected, Austria is owed the 183.4 million euros ($195 million) they say was overcharged.