May 14, 2012
The Greek politicians demand that the population pay for the huge budget deficit. What they don’t say is that a major cause of that deficit is Greece’s enormous military budget and weapons purchases. Over the past decade, Greece, with a population of 11 million, has been one of the top five arms importers in the world.
In the five years up to 2010, the Greek government purchased more of Germany’s arms exports than any other country, accounting for 15% of all German weapons makers’ exports. The Greek government is also the top buyer in Europe of France’s arms manufacturers. These huge weapons purchases continued when the big debt crisis hit in 2008. In fact, the Greek government increased its military spending from 6.24 billion euros in 2007 to 7.1 billion euros in 2010.
This was no accident. It is well known that the German and French governments, acting in the interests of their own big weapons manufacturers, imposed new arms deals on the Greek government, even as politicians the world over bemoaned the Greek debt crisis. In particular, there was concerted pressure from France to buy several stealth frigates. Germany sold 223 howitzers and completed a controversial deal on faulty submarines. Not to be left out, U.S. weapons makers have sold the Greek military F-16 jets and M-1 Abrams tanks.
All the austerity measures imposed on the Greek population – the enormous cuts in social spending, jobs, the minimum wage, pensions – are just a way to rob the Greek working population and the poor in order to enrich the biggest capitalists all over the world.