CzechRep To Spend 10% More On Defence In 2017
29 July 2016
The Czech Republic will spend 52.5 billion crowns on defence in 2017, which is 10 percent more than this year, the Defence Ministry's spokesman Petr Medek told CTK on Thursday, adding that the defence and finance ministries' officials agreed on the budget before the summer holiday already.
The sum is 600 million crowns higher than the original proposal.
The draft state budget for 2017, which the government discussed at the end of May, envisaged defence spendings of 51.9 billion crowns, which was four billion crowns more than in 2015.
In 2018, the defence budget would rise to 57.9 billion and in 2019 to 62 billion crowns according to the May draft budget.
Medek said the budget outlook is important for the ministry which needs to plan important orders. It wants to buy new helicopters, radars, submachine guns and armoured personnel carriers in the next few years, which will require dozens of billions of crowns.
Experts say a big part of the military equipment is obsolete.
The coalition government, which is comprised of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), agreed recently that the Czech Republic will start to earmark 1.4 percent of GDP for defence by 2020.
This would bring it at least closer to the 2 percent which every NATO country should spend on defence.
Currently, the Czech Republic spends about 1 percent of GDP on defence.
The chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Petr Pavel of the Czech Republic, says the pace of raising defence spending in the NATO member countries does not correspond to the bad security situation in the world.
The Czech Republic is in the last quarter of NATO member countries in terms of money spent on defence.
Source : praguemonitor.com