News story about U.S. M1A1 tanks for Greece gets international media attention

The article of the “Hellenic Defence & Technology” magazine, regarding the possible acquisition of 400 used M1A1 tanks from the U.S. surplus for the Greek Army, which was republished in English by attracted the attention of news media in many countries, mainly in Europe, during the last few days. Starting from Finland, which is most reluctant to further finance the bailout of Greece, this news story was broadcasted in several other media in European countries and elsewhere.

Despite the consecutive deep cuts in the Greek defense budget over the last years, this news story regarding the M1A1 tanks was heavily criticized in Europe with the focus being on the argument of how it is possible to lend money to Greece in order to be saved from bankruptcy and Greece using that money to obtain tanks. According to, Andreas Meltzer, MP of the right-wing populist opposition party ‘Freedom Party of Austria’ (FPÖ) in the European Parliament, is asking the Austrian government if this news story is true. He is also stating that it is unacceptable if all these billions of Euros of Austrian taxpayers given to Athens are spent there for lucrative arms procurements. He is further asking why Greece is not buying tanks from a European country. This news story about the American tanks caused hot discussions, which are reflected in the comments section of the article here in and in other blogs and forum.

On the other hand, the Greek defense press mainly sees this issue as an opportunity for the Greek Army to replace older outdated equipment without any significant cost. However, it should be noted that during the last few years the Greek defence press has published a number of news stories concerning possible new arms acquisitions from Greece. However, almost none of these prospect deals, with the exception of 223 German M-109 surplus howitzers granted to Greece for €16.598.720 in 2010, has not materialize, mainly due to the financial constraints imposed by the current economic crisis.

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  • Achilleas

    The older m48′s and m60 should be sent to Cyprus , i dont think the U.S. at this point is going to be upset over it.

  • Jacques Volkeren
  • Nando

    These people are nuts!!!
    And what are we supposed to bail out? The tanks too?
    Give me a break!!!

    • cmon

      That really made me lough. Nando you are obviously Spanish. Your country needs a lot of bailing out itself. The unemployment rate is much worse than that of Greece.
      Spare us the comments please. Nobody told Spain what to do with its defense budget. This is a pure sovereignty issue.
      Unless your and the rest of the EU members are going to fight the Turks alongside Greece when its attacked by Turkey, just don’t talk about the Greek defense budget.
      Just because Greece tasted “EU solidarity” with the debt crisis, it is preparing to face a military crisis with Turkey, on its own.

      • Jacques Volkeren

        Turkey wants to get into the E.U.
        If it attacks Greece, Turkey can shelve that idea for a century: that’s Greece’s best guarantee.

        • cmon

          Turkey occupies EU land for the past 37 years. This has been condemned by several votes of the UN security council. Has that changed anything? No!
          Do you seriously propose we experiment again and in case they do invade, we wave EU/UN condemnation votes against them? Grow up.
          Is there such a thing as a military leg of the EU? If there was, how long do you think it would take for the EU leaders to decide whether to support Greece or not? They cannot make up their minds about a dept crisis, imagine a military crisis.
          It’s all about the money pall, and the money here is oil and natural gas fields. And as always, you can only claim what you can defend. Turkey has a very poor record of respecting International law. It is not going to start now.
          And about Turkey’s EU summer dream…please…it knows very well it does not stand a chance of joining the EU. Germany, France, Austria and their satellite states will never vote for that. Britain and its partners can lobby all they like.

        • Gerry

          Greece has lost her soverignty,Now she has to account to anyone why she spending a couple of million not billion of dollars foe 400 tanks.
          European protection you must be joking look aqt Cyprus.Best for greece to leave the Euro zone. decl;are bankcrucy and sort herself oput.
          Who are bailing they out definetly not the Greek citizen.Greeks must realize that the will never be European enough to these previous colonizers.They must concentrate in being Greek and not too much European.Concentrate in sectors of industries like shipbuilding where the can grow,agriculture and all the gas reserves they have.They are currently humiliating Greece.Why should speculators make money by attacking Europe by stuffing up Greece.When Karamalis left Greece owed 60 billion now they own 380 billion how did this happen.That the Greeks cheated on figures everyone does it, the Greeks were stupid in being caught.Look at all the defence scandals of bribery and corruption European companies are having.Siemens HWD and Saab
          The kettle calling the pot black.A Proud HONEST GREEK WITH A GREEK SOUL.