BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:15 A.M.) – The Greek Finance Minister expressed his country’s readiness to spend part of its cash reserves to support its armed forces this year, after years of implementing austerity policy in defense spending.
During the decade-long debt crisis that began in late 2009, Greece slashed its defense spending under the terms of three bailouts, and exited its third bailout in August 2018.
In an interview with Alpha TV, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that his mission includes “supporting the deterrence force of the armed forces.”
The minister stated that the Ministry of Finance “will do everything possible to support the government’s decisions in this regard.”
Staikouras made these statements in light of the escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey, members of NATO, over energy sources in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has accumulated cash available from untapped rescue packages and funds raised from the market, totaling 34 billion euros.
The country was looking for an economic recovery this year, but the coronavirus has turned expectations upside down, and the government is now indicating an economic contraction of up to ten percent of the country’s output.