The defense agreement signed between Greece and France and the acquisition of the Belharra frigates “is strategically sound” but the country will “pay dearly” for it due the Conservative government’s delays in completing the talks that had started in 2018, the country’s main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance said on Tuesday.
The deal, inked in Paris on Tuesday morning, foresees the purchase by Greece of three French-built, state-of-the-art frigates, with the option of a fourth, and a delivery date of between 2025 and 2026. The frigates will also be compatible with the jets Greece is also purchasing from France.
The agreement also stipulates that one country with come to the aid of the other in the event of an attack.
SYRIZA noted that during the summer 2020 crisis with Turkey’s research ship Oruc Reis, it pushed the government “for rational European strategic independence,” but in the fall of 2020 the government instead “left the country without defense and diplomatic support.”
The result was forcing Greece “into an arms race exceeding 10 billion euros,” when it was already over-indebted.
“In this context, we wonder, beyond the Navy’s needed frigates and the Air Force’s upgrade of F-16s, whether other defense choices are of such priority, and whether they exceed our economy’s expenditure capacities,” SYRIZA said.