ATHENS 

The Greek Parliament will vote on a bill on Thursday for the purchase of 18 French-made Rafale fighter jets.

The bill was approved by a Greek parliamentary committee late Tuesday under a fast track procedure.

The Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs discussed three contracts under the bill including six new and 12 used Rafale jets at a cost of €1.5 billion this year.

The two countries are expected to sign the agreement later this month.

Greece’s defense budget is projected to reach around €5.5 billion, more than double last year’s spending.

Despite its economic hardships, the Mediterranean country spent 2.3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense in 2019.

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