The CEO of one of Germany's top space companies has been fired over controversial comments made to US diplomats regarding the European Union Galileo satellite-navigation project.
His comments were discovered in the latest batch of confidential US diplomatic cables to be leaked by whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.
According to an October 2009 cable, Berry Smutny, the CEO of OHB-System, allegedly told US diplomats that Galileo was a "stupid idea" that "primarily serves French interests". He said that the 566 million Euro project was a "waste of EU taxpayers money".
Smutny also claimed that the project was "doomed for failure" and would require serious budget cuts to service.
OHB-System decided to fire Smutny after the cable was published by Norwegian daily AftenPosten. In a statement on Monday, the board said its supervisory board "disapproves these conversations and the quotes attributed to Mr Smutny".
OHB-System is a part of a consortium chosen by the EU to launch the first 14 Galileo spacecrafts into space.