Greece Against Military Spending - Global Day of Action on Military Spending

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and its Greek member organisation, the Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors (GACO), made an open call to other organisations and groups in Greece and a successful joint action was organised on April 12 in Athens, at the Parliament Square by EBCO, GACO, Antinationalistic-Antimilitaristic Initiative, World Without Wars and Violence, Antigoni, World Women March, Synaspismos Youth, Greens, Young Greens, Iliosporoi, Kokkino, Ksekinima and AKOA Youth.

In 2010 global military spending rose to an all-time high amount of 1,141 trillion Euros, increased by 1.3% from 2009, while in Greece in 2010 military spending rose to 7,062 billion Euros. Greece is among the five biggest arms customers in absolute terms for the period 2005-2009. The armaments in the last 30 years comprise more than 1/3 of its total debt. Greece keeps spending on weapons the biggest percentage of GDP than any other EU country.

In the afternoon of Tuesday, April 12, they unfolded a large banner over the exit of the metro station in front of the Greek Parliament, which illustrated that there is money for military aircrafts, tanks and submarines, while there is no money for schools, hospitals and public transportation. They also unfolded a black banner 10.5 meters long on the Parliament Square, symbolising the global military spending. In its upper edge, it showed in different colours how much smaller the social spending is, referring to the eight Millennium Development Goals: just 21.5% of the military spending. They asked people passing by to write on the black banner where they would like this money to be invested instead and people wrote several social needs.