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Cyprus defence spending down in 2014 due to crisis

03 December, 2013

Defence spending will be reduced in the 2014 budget, due to the impact of the economic crisis. At the same time, the execution rate of the 2013 defence budget remains very low.

The House Committee on Defence Affairs discussed Monday the defence budget. The House Committee is solely responsible for the budget’s approval, without referring it to the House plenary.

Speaking after the session, the President of the House Committee Giorgos Varnava said that the economic crisis had its impact on defence spending and called on the government to re-examine it.

Varnava added that the Minster of Defence, who was present at the session, assured that a supplementary budget will be laid before the House, if necessary, in the course of 2014. In such an event, the Minister said that the Cabinet will respond positively, Varnava added.

On the 2013 defence budget’s execution rate, the House Committee President noted that levels remain very low.

He added that the Ministry of Defence pledged to ask for the disbursement of funds by the end of the year, increasing thus execution levels.

Asked whether reduced funding affects the operational capacity of the National Guard - the Republic’s armed forces - Varnava referred to the Minister’s statement, saying that both the Ministry and the armed forces will be able to meet their obligations.

Priority is set on the security of conscripts and the personnel, by destroying outdated ammunition and building new storage facilities. Moreover, it was noted that 2014 spending is linked to safeguarding the Republic’s interests in its exclusive economic zone.