Greece fought hard for independence from the Ottoman Empire, to then suffer under German occupation. As a result it ensures a strong modern defense system, but it is under undue pressure to buy armaments from Germany.
Greek politicians are endeavouring to come to an arrangement with the Troika this weekend over the next tranche of bail-out loans needed to stave off a Greek exit from the Euro. Whilst it is widely reported that Angela Merkel is keen to ensure that Greece remains in the Eurozone, there is a key reason why Germany stands to benefit from Greece securing further loans, that is rarely reported on. The German armament industry will continue to be a major beneficiary of Greek spending if Greece avoids a Eurozone exit.
As austerity measures are loaded on the Greek people, creating a crisis situation that few Greeks apart from the wealthy elite are untouched by, the Greek government remains committed to its extravagant spending on armaments, making it the fourth-largest importer of arms in the world. Bail-out loans received by the Greek government are used to purchase arms from Germany, the U.S. and France.
As Press Europ points outs "the main beneficiary of the Greek armament programme in Europe turns out to be its savings champion, Germany." Moreover, there is reportedly pressure placed on Greece to honor existing armament contracts and commit to new ones, by dominant European leaders Angela Merkel and Nikolas Sarkozy.
Spectrazine summed up the arms situation succinctly when it said "It is thus clear that the ever-increasing bail-outs are in reality, directly or indirectly, consecrated to the purchase of arms."
The media and many commentators has hurled criticism and accusations on the Greek people, blaming a lazy, work-shy populace for overspending, refusing to pay taxes and indulging in the Mediterranean habit of siestas. Even those who engage in demonstrations against the increasingly austere austerity measures give little voice to the fact that Greek spending on weapons is ridiculously over the top for the size of the country. When the issue is raised the excuse given is that it is necessary to counter the threat of Turkey, a NATO partner. According to the Jerusalem Post Greece is the second largest recipient of German weapon imports, after Turkey.
The situation is not a new one. In Oct. 2010 the JP reported that German and French leaders were accused of "obliging Greece to maintain arms sales negotiations with their countries before agreeing to financial aid" as they wanted to make money off the back of Greeks.
If the current negotiations to secure the next bail-out loans needed by March 20, for the much touted reason of saving Greece's position within the euro, then Germany and other weapon exporters stand to benefit. However in order for the orders to keep flowing the Greek people will continue in servitude to unelected European masters who continue to demand yet further austerity and sacrifice.