Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Retired military alarm: the crisis could become a national threat


 Anastasia Balezdrova

The Greek Parliament voted on the new package of austerity measures and the budget for 2013 despite the protests of trade unions and supporters of left parties. Now, it is the time to apply them. For some categories of public workers, the cut in income will be particularly painful, as it can reach 27%.
This is true particularly for those involved in the so-called "special" payroll tables like judges, university teachers and uniformed employees. The basic salaries of the army will be reduced by between 2.5% and 20% percent retroactively from 1 August this year.

In particular, the salary of the commander-in-chief of the Greek army, which now amounts to 2,337 euro will be reduced to 1,873 euro. The salaries of the commander-in-chief of the navy and the land forces, and of the head of the Greek police will be reduced from 2,068 to 1,698 euro. The head of military aviation, the director of the navy and the general inspector of the army will receive 1,584 euro instead of 1,888 per month.
The reductions of the monthly income of the military according to their rank are as follows:
General - 1,479 from 1,753 euro
Major general - 1,400 from 1,645 euro
Brigadier general - 1,313 from 1,510 euro
Colonel - 1,146 from 1,295 euro
Lieutenant-colonel - 1,033 from 1,151 euro
Major - 971 from 1,070 euro
Captain - 928 from 1,016 euro
First lieutenant - 910 from 971 euro
Lieutenant - 875 from 899 euro
Sergeant - 823 from 863 euro
The reductions apply to allowances as well, the greatest cuts being in the largest amounts received by the commander-in-chief of the Greek army and various military commanders.
At the same time, the 2013 budget that was voted on two days ago provides for the Ministry of Defence expenditure, which is 158 million euro less than last year.
"We accept the statements of ministers that the crisis does not affect the navy’s alert, but in practice, the question of whether we avail a plan needed to deal with such a situation remains," Evangelos Georgousis, a lieutenant retired from aviation, said during a congress, organized by the Association of Staff Officers of National Defence.
He noted that in recent decades, the political leadership has introduced the vicious clientelist policy among the members of the armed forces and thus, have increased the maintenance costs of excess staff.
The retired lieutenant put in the form of questions such important issues such as the retirement of Greek military at 50 and 55 years of age, "so that all those on the annual or any other list can take high posts." He rebuked the longstanding practice of increasing operating costs and cited the opposite examples of European countries that have managed to reduce them significantly.
"My personal opinion is that the former course of action of our country will cease to exist because it is wrong. This also applies to military forces. The whole system was built on wrong parameters and above all, on borrowed money. " The lieutenant expressed his belief that even in times of budget cuts, if military leadership succeeds in achieving the necessary planning, the situation in the Greek army will improve. "
"The most important thing about Greece is the drawing up of a national action plan, a memorandum of our own relating to the things that we need to change to emerge from the crisis," he said in conclusion. "If we alone do not remove the present system it will become a threat. This threat has put the key in the lock of the door of the army. If we continue to ignore the situation, we would not be able to save it shortly after that."

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