Poland, Lithuania increase defence budget

As Poland focuses on their election and puts reforms on hold, both Poland and Lithuania top EU defence budget hikes in 2015, as conflict in Ukraine continues to foment instability.

Poland, Lithuania increase defence budget

 World Bulletin / News Desk

Poland's centre-right government will put major economic reforms on hold until after a parliamentary election at the end of the year, focusing instead on voter-friendly social and welfare issues, sources told Reuters.

Poland's economy has grown by nearly a quarter since 2007, the most robust growth in the EU, pushing the number of people in work to the highest since the transition to capitalism in 1989, with over 16 million people in employment.

EU aid money and low wages have driven growth but will come to an end in the next few years and must cut spending on welfare if it is to tap into new sources of growth and keep a lid on the budget deficit, expected to have stood in 2014 at 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"We're counting on the economic improvement, particularly the fall in youth unemployment (and) the increase in the number of jobs to help us in the election," said a senior source in Kopacz's party.

The Polish government in 2013 put in place a 10-year €33 billion investment plan to modernise its military.

Between 2005 and 2014, Poland increased its military expenditure by 38 per cent in real terms. This included a 13 percent increase in 2014, with an additional boost of 19 per cent in real terms planned in 2015.

SIPRI, an independent international institute, says that the reasons for this are that Poland is “largely avoided the economic fallout from the 2008 financial crisis; and has been willing to invest in its military, engage in NATO and US-led military operations and host the US ballistic missile defence programme .” 

Lithuania, which joined Nato along with Estonia and Latvia in 2004, plans on increasing its military defence by 50 percent to spending 400 million.

Budget hikes are also set for Estonia (7.3 percent) and Latvia (14.9 percent).

 

Last Mod: 13 Nisan 2015, 14:44
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