PADERBORN Oct 15 German Chancellor Angela
Merkel said on Saturday that Europe's largest economy would
significantly boost defence spending in the coming years to move
towards the NATO target for member states to spend 2 percent of
their economic output on defence.
But Merkel, addressing a conference of the youth wing of her
conservatives, did not specify by how much defence spending
Merkel said U.S. President Barack Obama had told her it
could no longer be the case that the U.S. spends 3.4 percent of
its gross domestic product (GDP) on security while Germany - its
its close NATO ally - only spends 1.2 percent of GDP on that.
"To get from 1.2 percent to 2 percent, we need to increase
it by a huge amount," Merkel said.
In 2016 Germany's budget for defence spending stands at 34.3
billion euros so it would need to be increased by more than 20
billion euros to reach the 2 percent target.
(Reporting by Reuters TV and Andreas Rinke; Writing by Michelle
Martin; Editing by Andrew Bolton)