Tsipras: Greece should boost its own defence industry

SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras

Although the Greek government has signed armaments programs worth 14 billion euros in the last two years, not a single euro has been spent in the national defence industry, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, describing this policy as a "national crime".

Tsipras made his statements after meeting with the administration and employees of Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV) at its premises in Schimatari of central Greece.

The main opposition leader expressed his satisfaction that two armaments programs his government signed for were still active, namely the upgrade of 84 F-16s into Vipers and the upgrade of 4 maritime collaboration aircraft P3.

Greece will always need to keep its Armed Forces deterrence-ready, and "it is unthinkable its defensive armaments industry is not strengthened, more so that its discrediting is a political choice," Tsipras said.

"Once SYRIZA returns to power," he said, "it will renegotiate agreements so that the Greek industry participates in the new programs."

Employees told the party leader that EAV was capable in producing the Super Puma at a fraction of the cost and to assume maintenance projects for the C130s.

Another issue they raised was lack of hiring for permanent staff since 2008-2009 and low interest when advertised as they paid salaries of only 600-700 euros per month.

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