The Greek defence ministry is facing a severe spending crunch as part of a national debt crisis partly brought on by Athens’ hosting the 2004 Olympic Games and exacerbated by earlier equipment procurements. Its budget allocation of €11.4 billion ($14.6 billion) for the 2006-10 timeframe represents available funding of just under €3 billion to acquire new equipment, with the remaining €8.4 billion having been drained by the earlier procurements.

Describing its current procurement budget as “incredibly small” last week, the defence ministry said: “The €2.96 billion of the current EMPAE [spending plan] will consist of deposits for the programmes that are to be ratified in 2006-10, while the payments will be made in the period 2011-15.” The Greek government has already approved a military procurement package worth €13.5 billion for the next five-year planning period, with just €1 billion of this total to be ring-fenced to cover outstanding sums on earlier purchases.

Source: Flight International