Uzbekistan is now in debt to German companies for 130 million euro after a construction spending spree by Zeromax, a large Swiss-registered conglomerate seized by the government earlier this year.
Ferghana.ru, the independent online Central Asian news site, published a report November 5 on how Tashkent became beholden to Berlin -- a fact that came to light because a German trade official publicly expressed unhappiness.
On October 29, officials kicked off German Week, a celebration of German culture, education and trade in Uzbekistan, culminating in an economic forum which was supposed to showcase growing Uzbek-German cooperation and highlight the dynamic trade turnover, $469.4 million in 2009.
But Bernard Duch, advisor to Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, announced that Uzbekistan was in debt 130 million euro to German companies for the construction of three buildings and delivery of oil products. The buildings include the Palace of Forums, a residence for the president, and a stadium for the Bunyodkor soccer team.
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