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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Critics round on €500m aircraft deal for Greek navy

P-3B OrionDuring its time in opposition, Greece’s radical leftwing Syriza party was quick to accuse the government of “excessive” spending on defence and a lack of transparency regarding military contracts.

Now, the Syriza-led administration of Alexis Tsipras, prime minister, faces censure for signing a €500m deal last month to upgrade five ageing US-made P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft while slashing funds for anti-poverty projects.

Adding to the intrigue, the government kept quiet about a deal that was Greece’s biggest defence procurement since 2006. It was revealed by Proto Thema, an Athens newspaper, even though the deal would normally have been presented to parliament’s defence committee for discussion.

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