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Troops in Germany and Italy got a $150 monthly bump in their cost-of-living allowance starting Wednesday, although for many in Germany, the increase could be short-lived.

In Germany and Italy, an E-5 with 10 years’ service and three dependents will see his daily allowance jump to $25.08 from $20.07 — or $150 over 30 days.

The increase will be even larger in Spain, where troops will see about a $200 a month bump, according to the Department of Defense’s Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Committee Web site.

No reason was given for the increase in COLA, though the dollar has lost some strength against the euro in recent weeks.

But, troops should temper any celebration of the extra money in their paycheck: Last month, the committee announced that servicemembers in Germany would see a $200 cut in their monthly COLA as a result of rising prices for goods in the U.S.

Troops in Belgium and the Netherlands — many of whom who did not get an increase in COLA this week — will experience similar declines.

The reductions, the result of an annual baseline adjustment based on the cost of goods, won’t come all at once, but instead will be phased in between May and August to soften the impact.

"That will give [servicemembers] time to adjust themselves financially," Deborah McKoy-Phillips, EUCOM’s military entitlement program analyst, said when the change was announced in March.

The one exception in Germany is for soldiers serving in Vilseck, who, along with troops in the United Kingdom and Italy, are exempt from the reductions based on local prices and available services, according to EUCOM.

To calculate COLA, got to the committee’s Web site at: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/ocform.html.

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