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Politics

Defence Min: Greece Is Strengthening Its Armed Forces Based on Priority Needs

January 29, 2021

ATHENS — "Greece is proceeding on the basis of a very specific plan, with prioritisation of its needs and adapted to the country's financial capability, so as to meet the needs of all three branches of the Armed Forces," National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Friday in an interview with public broadcaster ERT.

Panagiotopoulos added that "we must also ensure the upgrade, support and modernisation of existing systems, not only make new purchases."

"The Army, Navy and Air Force have worked very hard under the coordination of the Chief of the National Defence General Staff. We discussed this plan and presented it to the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who immediately understood the need to better equip the Armed Forces and to cover the lost ground. He gave the green light for the increase of the defence budget and it was then passed by parliament. Now, we are proceeding with the implementation of this plan", the minister noted.

Regarding the acquisition of the French Rafale fighters, Panagiotopoulos stressed that "the talks started in September and we proceeded very fast because that was how it had to be done. We worked hard and the French side also helped. The strategic relationship between Greece and France is strong. We could not have achieved the completion of the negotiations so quickly, the vote on the contracts in Parliament, the signing of the contracts and their implementation, without the help of the French."

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