Monday, November 7, 2011

Less healthcare, but Greece is still buying guns

From The Independent.

As Greece is forced by European leaders to abandon a referendum to allow the people the chance to vote on its latest bailout conditions, the country is preparing for yet another dose of austerity.

The conditions of the next €130bn rescue package will be severe, yet there is an elephant in the room: the extent to which the German but also the French military industries rely on Greece.

The small, crisis-hit nation, whose prime minister, George Papandreou, narrowly survived a vote of confidence on Friday, buys more German weapons than any other country. Some Greeks want to know why it is that France and Germany are demanding cuts in pensions, salaries and public services, but the buying of arms is allowed to continue unabated.

Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economics at Athens University, says: "When Greek hospitals are running out of bandages, the only bit of the budget not being attacked by the EU and IMF is military expenditure."

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