Bulgarian Military Budget to Fall Short of 1.5%/GDP Target in 2012

Defense | October 26, 2011, Wednesday // 16:50|  views

Bulgaria's Defense Minister Angleov announced the investment plans of the military will have to be readjusted for lack of funds. Photo by BGNES

The budget of Bulgaria's Defense Ministry in 2012 will be only 1.2% of the GDP instead of the target of 1.5% of the GDP, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov announced.

Angelov spoke to reporters Wednesday after the weekly sitting of the Council of Ministers regarding the draft 2012 State Budget Act.

Even though the Defense Ministry will get the biggest state subsidy of all government ministries according to the draft legislation – a total of BGN 950 M – and its total budget will be BGN 980 M when adding its own revenues – it will actually be smaller by BGN 10 M than it was in 2011, and will amount to only 1.2% of the GDP.

Gen. Angelov said the greater problem is not the specific reduction but the failure to reach the overall goal of spending 1.5% of the GDP on defense set in the Bulgarian White Paper on Defense.

Reaching the target of 1.5% of the GDP would have meant an additional BGN 200 M to set aside for the military budget, he explained.

"The 2012 State Budget Act will necessitate changes in the Development Plan for the Armed Forces, and our Investment Program because we have been allocated a budget amounting to only 1.2% of the GDP," the Defense Minister declared.

He explained further that his institution will keep up the work on the tender for the purchase of new multipurpose fighter jets for the Bulgarian Air Force regardless of the smaller budget; however, the tender will be pushed back, and will not be started in 2012 because of the shortage of funding.

The Defense Minister reminded on Wednesday that the Bulgarian military is going to cut the number of its servicemen and servicewomen by 20%-25%, in accordance with the 2014 Plan for Development of the Armed Forces.

"This reduction will give an opportunity for maneuvering, and as of July 1, 2012, there will be a new organization in many of the bases of the Bulgarian Army," he explained.

He also said that as of November 2011 the Defense Ministry will start paying out bonuses to its staff that have been spared over the past 2.5 years as a result of the tough financial situation. The bonuses will come from savings from Ministry's salary fund.

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Tags: Defense Ministry, Defense Minister, Defense spending, Anyu Angelov, fighter jets, armed forces, military, Bulgarian Army, 2012 state budget


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