Estonia’s parliament voted on Monday to approve a 7.6 percent increase in state budget expenditure for next year, in part to bolster its military amid growing tension in the Baltic region.
Lawmakers set 2017’s defense spending at a record 2.2 percent of GDP or 477 million euros ($498 million), up from 2.07 percent forecasted for 2016. It also includes extra spending for hosting NATO troops on rotation in Estonia.
The state budget expenditure will increase by 7.6 percent to see the total nominal government sector deficit hit 0.6 percent of expected GDP in 2017.
Estonia, which joined the euro zone in 2011, is one of few member states forecasted keep within the euro zone’s deficit and debt limits.
The state budget, which takes the biggest share of the public sector account, set expenditure at a record 9.66 million euros next year and has projected revenue intake at 9.48 billion euros.
The Baltic country has no Eurobonds and does not issue domestic debt.