The repayment of an old debt to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will allow Greece to strengthen its aerial firefighting capabilities this year.
More specifically, the Fire Service will have 15 more aircraft and helicopters at its disposal compared to last year, so that its total aerial force come to 93.
The repayment of the old debt also saved face for Greece as it avoided the humbling, on a diplomatic level, possibility of it having to be paid off by other NSPA members, including Turkey.
“It was a matter of Greece’s credibility,” Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianidis told Kathimerini. “According to the NSPA regulation, the debt would have passed on to the other members of the Alliance,” he added.
From 2011 to 2016, a debt of 8.4 million euros had accumulated for leased airplanes, helicopters, spare parts and maintenance services.