Greece to boost its military.
Image Credit: AFP via Getty Images.
On Tuesday, the Greek government announced that in the coming days they would finalize an agreement between them and the French government and Dassault aviation for the delivery of 18 Rafale fighter jets, in a push to modernize its army.
The news was announced before a vote for the 2021 budget. Lawmakers approved the budet for 2021 by 158-148 votes. Annual spending on modernizing the military has been increased by more than a third to 5.4 billion euros, despite a recession due to the pandemic. This year Greece’s budget deficit before debt servicing costs were expected to be 11.76 billion euro and 6.67 billion euros next year. Their debt-to-GDP ratios surged to 208,9% this year, but most of the debt is held by the European Union which gave them good repayment terms.
Despite the hard economic times Greece is rapidly modernizing their military, following the path of several countries around the World, but Greece has more reasons to boost its military. Greece has problems with Turkey over the exclusive economic zone in Eastern Mediterranean. Both countries claim the same area. Despite this, Turkey went on drilling in the area for natural gas sparking a confrontation with Greece during the Summer, with navy warships from both countries sent to the area. Both Europe and USA talked to both countries to de-escalate the situation, with the majority of countries, the like of France, Egypt, Italy and United States expressed their support for Greece. This was a wake up call for Greece, since the last recession, they have been downsizing their army.
Greece will now get 18 Rafale fighter jets by next year, but will also upgrade all their F-16s, hire 15,000 more troops, purchase more frigates, anti-submarine helicopters and drones in a five-year program.