OPINION

July 18, 1953

DEFENSE EXPENDITURE: (From a report by I.P. Dimitrakopoulos) – The question of dealing with the country’s excessive defense expenditure is currently the object of careful study by the relevant government officials who are linking the entire issue with Greece’s obligations to NATO on the one hand, and on the other with the resulting enormous burden that is being put on the Greek state budget. (…) Prior to the revaluation of the drachma, the relevant Greek services had told NATO that the country’s total defense expenses would amount to some 3,216 billion drachmas, that is the equivalent of 9.5 percent of the country’s national income, which is estimated at around 30 trillion drachmas. (…). Defense outlay for the period 1952-53 came to 52.3 percent of the total Greek state budget. (…) Officials believe that the only feasible way to support Greece (…) would be for the United States to assume the cost of maintaining the country’s armed forces (a) by paying for the provision of food and clothing to the troops, military equipment, a percentage of spare parts and medical supplies, and (b) by funding defense projects from purely American military assistance. NEW PARTY: Members of the EPEK party who have resigned from its ranks yesterday announced the foundation of the Democratic Party, which is led by Mr Giorgos Kartalis.