Greece 'in Talks' with Bulgaria over F-16 FightersDefense | October 12, 2014, Sunday // 16:49| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
Athens and Sofia are in talks about Bulgaria's possible purchase of second-hand F-16, a Greek media outlet argues.
Bulgarian defense officials have now approached Athens about the prospect to purchase eight Fighting Falcon jets, Kathimerini's English-language website wrote earlier this week, citing unnamed sources.
The first time such a possibility was discussed back in March, when then Defense Minister Angel Naydenov met counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos in Athens, Kathimerini says.
Specialized Bulgarian website pan.bg cites Kathimerini website's Greek-language version [GR], according to which the deal with Greece will soon be carried out, bringing "at least a few hundred million [EUR] into the Greek economy."
The US has reportedly given the green light to Greece's plans.
Last week Bulgaria's interim Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov said old F-16s were among the options for the country to update air force capabilities, apart from the new Gripen fighters or the used Eurofighter aircraft from Italy.
However, GERB leader Boyko Borisov, pointed by many as the next Prime Minister, criticized him for his remarks, pointing out the caretaker government was composed by "clerks appointed by the President" and should not forget that.
“To buy a piece of junk from Greece or to boast about a Phantom (sic!) is insulting to our state,” Borisov declared.