Riga, 29 May 2010 - GREEK MILITARY SPENDING UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AFTER ECONOMIC CRISIS
The Greek defence budget was the subject of discussion at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Riga on Saturday (today), as parliamentarians from across the Alliance debated the impacts of the country’s recent financial crisis.
At a meeting of the Assembly’s Economics and Security Committee, British Member of Parliament Peter Bottomley (Conservative) enquired after the level of Greek military spending, and whether it was expected to be reduced following the 110-billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
“That’s a very strange part of the agreement that
“There is a line in the agreement that stipulates that cuts will be made to military spending,” he said. “But nowhere have I seen the level of those cuts, or where they are going to come from.”
Economides pointed out that “for a long time, military spending was exempt from the kind of public scrutiny that all other sectors of the budget come under, and so we’re guessing” at the exact size of the Greek defence budget. It was probably “much higher” than recent estimates of slightly over 3 % of gross domestic product (GDP), he said.
Greek military spending has consistently been among the highest - as a proportion of GDP – in the
But signs of a rapprochement could allow for a reduction in defence budgets, Turkish parliamentarian Yahya Dogan (Justice and Development Party) said at the committee meeting. Ankara’s new “zero problems” approach to foreign policy was bearing fruit, he said, after a high-level meeting in Athens last week appeared to be soothing tensions.
There were unconfirmed reports of “some kind of mutual cut in defence spending across the
“We’ve yet to see if those cuts would take place in existing armaments, which would be meaningless, or would they take place in future defence spending, either in terms of procurement or in maintaining a rather large and bloated defence sector.”
Economides recognized that several of the nations backing the bailout, including
Around 340 delegates from allied and associated countries are attending the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s spring session from May 28 to June 1. The full programme is available at http://www.nato-pa.int/default.asp?SHORTCUT=2014.
*Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its Constitutional name