Czech Republic to boost military numbers by 30 percent

Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said the number of people in the armed forces would rise from around 23,000 today to 30,000 "within the next five to seven years.

Czech Republic to boost military numbers by 30 percent

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Czech Republic on Friday announced a 30-percent boost in the size of its armed forces, a day after the government approved a hike in defence spending.

"The Czech army is currently among the smallest in Europe in relation to its population," he said in a passing-out parade at a military school in Brno, in the east of the country. The Czech Republic has a population of 10.5 million.

"The list of wanted professions is very wide," he said. "We need drivers as much as we need surgeons and pilots."

On Thursday, Stropnicky and Finance Minister Ivan Pilny announced the defence budget would be increased to 1.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. It currently stands at 1.0 percent.

The country is part of the NATO military alliance, which sets members the target of allocating two percent of GDP to defence.

On Monday, the government approved the purchase of 80 Italian-made light armoured vehicles and 62 multirole armoured vehicles, sourced from French and Czech companies, for a total of 350 million euros ($410 million).

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Temmuz 2017, 16:59