Greece was bad. Consecutive Greek governments spent way beyond their means, we are told. Greece was scolded and put in the corner by the prudent and thrifty leadership of the EU. It was the public employees, yes. It was the graft, yes. It was the corruption, yes. It was the culture, maybe. It was that they are not as wise as the Europeans, define wisdom. The list is endless.
One area that stayed under the radar was the military spending. Here is a sweet little picture of the Greek military spending:
Greece’s serious financial troubles are going to affect their military spending. The highest in the European Union and second in NATO only to the United States, the Greeks spend 2.8% of their GDP on defense, compared to an average 1.7% in the other European NATO countries. Defense personnel account for 2.9% of the active population against an average 1.1% in other NATO member states.
One little graph from the Economist jumped at me today. It seems the scolders were right at the table gorging with the guilty Greeks. Look, Greece is Germany‘s number one customer. France‘s number three. Now that we put Greece on an austerity program, reigned in the pensioners, the universities, the hospitals and the sick, maybe we should see how the superior elders of the EU add to the problem. Just maybe.