Reduction In Greek Armed Forces?

Düyun-u Umumiye Building. Now used as a highschool. Photo: © Guillaume Piolle via Wikipedia.

This beautiful building in the old city of Istanbul was the head quarters of Düyun-u Umumiye-i Osmaniye Varidat-ı Muhassasa İdaresi, between 1897-1933.

The Düyun-u Umumiye can be translated into English as General Debts or General Obligations was an administration established to collect the tax on stamps, alcoholic drinks, fish hunting, salt, tobacco and silk in the Ottoman Empire. Theses taxes were used to pay the internal and external creditors of Ottoman Empire.

Approximately 150 years ago “Sick man of Europe” , the Ottoman Empire was in financial crisis and was highly in debt to a consortium of banks. Neither able to pay the interest or the actual debt Ottoman Empire lost most of its financial freedom with the foundation of the General Obligations Administration. The payments of the debts of Ottoman Empires continued after the foundation of Turkish Republic and ended only in 1954.

I have told the story of the Düyun-u Umumiye simply because if a nations loses its financial independence, it loses pretty much everything.

According to Greek blog IMF, EU and ECB want radical cuts in Greek Armed Forces.

The Troika calls for a 79% reduction in costs by 2015 for the Armed Forces

The data included in a question tabled at the Parliament, by the MPs of the ‘Nea Dimokratia’ party P.Kammenos and G.Stylianidis are shocking!

According to the medium-term program, by 2015 operating expenses of the Armed Forces will be reduced to 234 million Euros, from 1,112 billion Euros in 2009. The costs will be reduced by 79% compared with 2009 and 69% compared with 2011.

This means that the Armed Forces will be reduced to 1 / 6 of their power! It is paranoid to discuss such matters in this particular time, while huge interests and geopolitical games are played in our region, but “the government should decide whether Greece will continue to maintain its Armed Forces or no” says the question tabled by the two MPs.

The figures are truly unbelievable, but the numbers always tell the truth. Can the Greek government achieve this goal without significant impact on the fighting ability of the Armed Forces? Anyone who can claim this seriously, we are here to hear his arguments!

This question coincides with information that representatives of the troika want to have … friendly meetings with the Chiefs of Staffs on “how to reduce costs even further.”

Costs can be reduced and there are proposals, submitted two years ago, for closure or merging of units which serve no operational planning or decommissioning obsolete and now unneeded weapon systems. Both Ministers of Defence of the current government of PASOK, Venizelos and Beglitis, did not dare to touch these issues.

One Response to Reduction In Greek Armed Forces?

  1. Dave Shirlaw says:

    Thanks for this terrific post; this was a bit of Turkish history I did not know.

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