Does the Greek government know something the rest of us have yet to wake up to? How absurd that whilst people starve, billions of euros are spent on a military build-up.
In Athens the hospital doctors deal with emergencies only. Public transport workers strike, school text books are rationed; tens of thousands of anti-austerity protesters flood the streets.
The Greek Defence Ministry has just placed an order for 60 Eurofighter Class aircraft. The bottom line on the invoice is an estimated €3.9 billion, according to German weekly Die Zeit. Although the amount could be much higher, according to a report in defencegreece.com
It gets worse. €4.5 billion is reportedly being spent on French frigates and patrol boats; a further €2 billion on German-built U-boats, the Die Zeit also said. Then there are U.S. Apache helicopters and German Leopard tanks on the shopping list.
The Greek government is borrowing money at eye-watering rates of interest to subsidise the German, French and American arms industries.
On the Greek prime minister’s table an ultimatum and bribe. An €80 billion loan at eye-watering high interest rates is available. Ahem! It is a real opportunity to sign some new arms contracts.
In 2010 the Greek Ministry of Defence spent 3% of economic output on arms. To put that into perspective, among 28 NATO alliance members, only the United States spends more on arms. The figure for 2011 was similar.