The defence agreement signed between Greece and France is strategically sound, but too expensive for an indebted country like Greece, said the opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance party on Tuesday.
In its statement, the main opposition party noted that it is always good to procure new weapons for Greece’s defense, but a nationally responsible stance “requires us to be nationally beneficial. This requires a national plan and a comprehensive strategy.”
“In this context, we wonder – beyond the Navy’s needed frigates and the Air Force’s upgrade of F-16s – whether other defense choices are of such priority, and whether they exceed our economy’s expenditure capacities,” SYRIZA said.
SYRIZA noted that during the 2020 summer crisis with Turkey’s research ship Oruç Reis violating Greek maritime borders, it pushed the government “for rational European strategic independence,” but in the fall of 2020 the government instead “left the country without defense and diplomatic support.”
The result was “placing the country in a course of procurements exceeding 10 billion euros” when it was already over-indebted, the statement said.
Some of the unnecessary investments it cited included additional Rafale fighter jets – “which the Hellenic Air Force leadership itself did not know about”, the upgrade of additional F-16s, and what it called “the scandalously expensive agreement with Israel for a training center in Kalamata.”