“No other NATO member spends so much money on defense in relation to GDP. Greece now surpasses the United States,” Die Welt reports.
In response from Athens entitled “Greece the new number one in NATO”, The German newspaper notes: “2% of GDP is the target agreed upon by the members of the NATO alliance for the amount of defence spending. German defence spending is consistently below 2%, which Donald Trump has repeatedly criticised while in office.
For many years, the United States was at the top of defense spending relative to GDP, but last year, Greece surpassed the superpower with spending reaching 3.8% of GDP, which is almost double the For a country that for years imposed austerity during the fiscal crisis, defense spending is enormous.
What is striking is that the Greek people are supporting investment in defense, despite the fact that austerity as a result of the economic crisis has weakened the health system. “This is due to the feeling of imminent threat from Turkey,” said Panagiotis Ioakeimidis, a professor and security expert, adding that in Greece almost everything is examined in this light.
The Greek expert considers it sad that the Greek government has such large sums for the defense, but considers that in the current circumstances the expenses are necessary:
”We must change the circumstances”, he adds meaning that the disputes with Turkey must be resolved .
However, Panagiotis Ioakeimidis does not see progress in this direction in the near future. Both in Turkey and in Greece, 2023 is an election year.
The emeritus professor estimates that the pre-election campaign makes it difficult to find a compromise “.