If further austerity measures are confirmed for 2012 in the budget of the Defence Ministry, it could create dramatic problems, Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko (Freedom and Solidarity (SaS)) admitted on Thursday, June 2, as quoted by the Sme daily.
Next year, the defence sector is expected to receive 0.90 percent of GDP from the budget, despite Slovakia pledging when it entered NATO to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on the army each year. If austerity measures for next year are confirmed, Galko says he will have to either sack 4,000 soldiers or scrap the country’s jet fighter wing. He said his ministry has already prepared for all contingencies. “We count, for example, on cancelling the international Centre for Exceptionality that was founded recently in Trenčín as the first certified NATO workplace in Slovakia,” Galko said.
The minister added that, in his opinion, Slovakia has military resources sufficient to continue its international duties, but this would require a new level of financing. At a Thursday Conference on the Strategic Evaluation of Defence in Bratislava, Galko criticised both the previous and current administrations for excessively cutting the defence budgets because of the economic crisis.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Jun 2011 at 14:00