Vebeg GmbH is a clever company founded by the federal government, a kind of public online marketplace. The trust company, of which the Federal Republic of Germany is the sole shareholder, represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, markets a diverse range of used goods that have been discarded by the state.
Since it was founded in 1951, Vebeg has raised more than three billion euros for the state, and in 2021 it was 92.4 million euros. When federal, state and local authorities such as road construction authorities, civil protection and, above all, the German armed forces no longer need items of all kinds, Vebeg tries to auction them off - either in a live auction or by knocking down after a hidden online bid.
Vehicles, airplanes, helicopters and ships, clothing, technical equipment, raw materials, tyres, scrap coins and government gifts are sold. The self-promotion says that they are bringing “a particularly diverse selection of used, discarded goods in the most varied of states of preservation” to commercial customers.
Currently, for example, you can bid for woolen blankets from the Bundeswehr stocks. A total of 36,400 used blankets made of mixed wool, two by two meters in size and in yellow-olive, are packed in boxes and stored on pallets at the Bundeswehr supply center in Blankenburg, ready for collection. Interested parties can submit a bid until December 13 at 1 p.m.; at least 100 pieces must be purchased. Appointments to inspect the goods, some of which are over 50 years old but in good condition, can be made in advance.
As sensible as it may be in principle for Vebeg to recycle discarded goods, the auctioning off of the woolen blankets annoys Marcus Faber, a member of the FDP. Because at the same time the government in the Bundeswehr is looking for goods to support Ukraine in the war against Russia. “In Ukraine it is freezing. Instead of selling blankets from the Bundeswehr stocks via Vebeg, we should make them available to Ukraine," said Faber WELT. "In this way we could make a real contribution this winter."
In addition to weapon systems and ammunition, the military support services currently also include 116,000 cold protection jackets, 80,000 cold protection pants and 240,000 winter hats as well as 15 pallets of clothing. The 36,400 old blankets would complement that well, Faber thinks – without having to take them away from your own soldiers.
"Up to thirty people can warm up here and charge their phones," says WELT reporter Tatjana Ohm about the "heating points of invincibility". In view of the ongoing attacks on the energy supply and the bitter cold, these protective tents are urgently needed.
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