NEWS

Defense costs shoot skyward

The United States is the only member of NATO that spends a larger proportion of its national output on its armed forces than Greece, according to an annual report by the military alliance which was made public yesterday. According to NATO’s defense spending report for 2006, Greece spends 3 percent of its GDP on the armed forces compared to the 3.8 percent invested by the USA. Turkey has an outlay of 2.8 percent of its GDP. The armed forces cost each taxpayer in Greece $402 last year, according to NATO. Of all NATO members, Greece spends the third-largest proportion of its military budget on wages (73.8 percent). Equipment and arms account for some 15 percent of expenditures and only 1 percent is spent on infrastructure. The armed forces in Greece also employ the largest proportion of the work force in any NATO member state with 3.3 percent of working Greeks contracted to the military. Turkey has the next highest percentage (2.2).