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Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Crisis turns a "blind eye" to military spending

By @csyllas, translated by @EliVou

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High levels of military spending have played a significant role in the current European debt crisis and continue to diminish any chance of straightening things out.

This precise relationship between excessive militarization and the debt crisis, is being examined in a new report called "Weapons, Debt and Corruption: Military Expenditure and the Crisis of the EU" put together by think tank Transnational Institute.

During the past five years, there is an un-talked about "elephant" in Brussels. It involves expenses incurred for weapons whilst society is being reduced to shambles with wages and pensions continuously being slashed.

The arms industry continues to show profits from order placements when the total amount spent corresponds to 194 billion in 2010 - an amount equal to the deficits of Greece, Italy and Spain. 

In the case of Greece, the country has analogically spent the highest amounts in Europe over the past four decades on such costs – at the same time the country has spent about twice its GDP compared to the EU average. 

And whilst countries like Germany insist that harsher cuts must be made to social spending in order for states to repay their debts, they are not so emphatic when it comes to defense spending cuts. France and Germany have put pressure on the Greek government not to reduce such expenditure whilst at the same time France is closing a leasing deal with Greece for two of the most expensive European frigates.

According to reports, this move is more "a result of political will, than the initiative of the armed forces." As an adviser to former Prime Minister George Papandreou once said: "Nobody says' buy our vessels otherwise you will not be financially supported." It is obvious, however, that if we do, will seem more supportive. "

Due to the crisis such expenditures appear to have been reduced, however spending levels remain similar or higher in comparison to those ten years ago. Worldwide, the UK ranks in 4th place, France in 5th with Italy in 11th place who  with a 1.8 trillion euro debt still spends a higher proportion of its GDP in comparison to  the post-Cold War low of 1995.

It is worth noting that actual cuts made in military spending, affected mainly people – staff cuts, wage and pension cuts. The weapon market remained strong with the budget increasing from 38.8 billion euros in 2006 to 42.9 billion in 2010. During the same period employee costs fell from 110 billion to 98.7 billion euro.

You can read the full report here.

Includes information from

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