Greece to sell state jet: government

Greece on Monday said it was selling one of its three state jets and making the other two available to the national airforce in order to cut defence costs, amid efforts to balance the state budget.

"A 13-seat Embraer airplane will be sold and the proceeds will be used to cover other armed forces needs," the government said in a statement.

A second Brazilian-made Embraer will be handed over to the airforce for training purposes and to carry out medical airlifts, the statement said.

The government said it was keeping the third jet, a US-made Gulfstream, for state trips but said this plane too would also be occasionally available to the airforce "in order to avoid wearing out army transport planes".

The announcement gave no further detail on the aircraft.

The plane for sale is an EMB-135BJ Legacy, described on the airforce's website as a 15-seater.

It was acquired by Greece as an offset for the purchase of Embraer-made flying radars over a decade ago.

Greece is under pressure from the EU and the International Monetary Fund to cut state spending in return for billions of euros (dollars) in loans that are keeping its economy alive.

Part of the savings are to come from the defence budget, and the government has also pledged to raise 19 billion euros ($23.8 billion) from the sale of state assets.

© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Aug 27, 2012