ECONOMIST – Dendias: Greece will have strongest Armed Forces ever, after Agenda 2030 reforms

Greece spends over 2% of its GDP for defense, and this is a ticket to survival, National Defense Minister Nikos Dendias told the 28th Annual Economist Government Roundtable in a panel on Tuesday.

“We are not simply spending. We are reforming,” Dendias said at the conference. “We call it Agenda 2030, and it will bring the Armed Forces into the 21st century and beyond” in terms of dogmas and through the introduction of technology, he added.

When the reform is completed, he underlined, “Greece will have the strongest Armed Forces it ever had in its history. This will be our contribution to the region’s stability.”

In terms of NATO members, “every state must do whatever it can do,” as “we are now in a difficult situation we did not anticipate.” NATO, he underlined, must become something more than it is. “Not simplly a military alliance, but an alliance of principles, to be able to export them to the world. This is NATO’s challenge.”

The conference is taking place July 2-4 at Grand Resort Lagonissi. This year’s topic is “Spiralling throught the conflicts in search of opportunities” and Dendias spoke on the panel titled “How can Europe mitigate the current security threats?”

Ambassador Tsunis

Also speaking at the panel was US Ambassador to Athens George Tsunis, who the West failed to support the Balkans, not keeping a promise of solidarity and investments, and must now be more forceful. “We must not abandon Ukraine. We must support it,” he urged. The challenges remain, he added.

The ambassador also said that Greece played a key role in NATO and that its contribution to the alliance “is critical”, in terms of how the United States offers help in the crises in the region.

Speakers on the panel also included David Harris, Executive vice-chair, Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), Former chief executive officer, American Jewish Committee; James Stavridis, Admiral (retired), Former supreme allied commander, NATO, Partner and vice-chair, global affairs, The Carlyle Group (via connection); and Sergei Konoplyov, Director, Black Sea Security Programme, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

The panel was chaired by Daniel Franklin, Executive editor and senior editor (US), The Economist.

ANA-MPA is communication supporter of the conference.