'France is planning to spend $33 billion (€27bn) to upgrade its arsenal of nuclear weapons as part of a massive $370 billion (€300bn) military spending over the next few years to meet the NATO military alliance's requirements, the French defense chief has announced.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said Paris wanted to increase its military budget so that it can "hold its own" as a key power in Europe.
"The government's goal is twofold: reach the target of spending two percent of GDP on defense by 2025, while also ensuring we manage our public finances," Parly said.
France spends $42 billion (€34bn) or 1.8 percent of its GDP for military purposes, slightly less than the two-percent threshold set by NATO.
Under the new plan, President Emmanuel Macron's government increases overall spending by $2 billion (€1.7bn) a year starting from 2019 until 2022, when it will reach $53 billion (€44bn). Then the budget would be bumped up by $3.6 billion (€3bn) a year between 2023 and 2025.
By then, Paris is supposed to have completed the expensive revamp of its nuclear arsenal, with work on a third-generation nuclear submarine program and a new generation of airborne nuclear missiles already underway today.'
Read more: France to spend $33 billion of taxpayer money on upgrading nukes to meet NATO commitments
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