OPINION

Defense spending

The billions of euros being spent by the Greek people on the country’s defense often go toward the purchase of useless weapons systems for the sole purpose of serving irrelevant interests. The new systems that are ordered are often incompatible with the existing defense structure. As a result, they do nothing to help the country’s defense and create even more problems. Greeks already have bad experiences with the accumulation of unsuitable defense equipment that serves no real purpose other than to government «friends,» or, in other words, the middleman. Delays in the delivery of F-16 weaponry and torpedoes for our submarines, as well as the case of the Greek frigate, show how well-founded their fears are. Now the people are being asked once again to dig deep into their pockets after the government decided to buy weapons systems totaling 26.2 billion euros. National Defense Minister Vangelis Meimarakis should always remember that this money does not belong to either the government or the middlemen. That colossal amount has come from the pockets of Greeks. It represents hospitals that are not being built, universities that lack money and public works that are postponed due to high costs or that are not being completed as fast as they should. So the people want the minister to devote himself to this problem and to manage their money with extreme caution. They expect him to stand up to the various interest groups lurking about his ministry. Sums of this magnitude call for care and a judicious approach. After all, whether he likes it or not, it is the minister who is responsible for the investment of all these billions of euros. It is up to him to show that he is aware of that fact.