Bulgaria's Ministry of Defense Systematically Underfinanced – PM
Bulgaria's Ministry of Defense needs more than BGN 2.3 B to fulfill commitments to national defense, NATO and the EU by 2020.
This is stated in a document regarding the objectives of Bulgaria's Armed Forces, cited by Bulgarian private TV station BTV, Wednesday.
The implementation of commitments will increase defense capabilities of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and their interoperability with other NATO allies, says the document. By 2020, some BGN 100 M to BGN 290 M annually are needed for the implementation of the set objectives.
"Bulgaria's defense sector has been systematically underfinanced over the past years, and probably it is not the only sector facing the same problem," Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said at the annual conference organized by the Head of the Defense, General Simeon Simeonov, dedicated to the contribution of the Bulgarian armed forces to the NATO Connected Forces Initiative, Focus News Agency reported.
According to military experts, about BGN 1.7 B were invested in the last 10 years in the upgrading the army and the modernization of the armed forces.
The annual output of the defense industry accounts for only about 0.5% of the share of industry in GDP, with revenues of over BGN 400 M, according to a report on the state of Bulgarian defense industry, BTV informed.
The industry employs more than 15,000 workers, for comparison the European defense industry has more than 730 000 employees and a turnover of EUR 172 B.
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