October 20, 2020

Defense spending is frozen despite commitment to NATO | Economy

Defense spending is frozen despite commitment to NATO | Economy



Spain will have very difficult to reach 2% of GDP in military spending in 2024, as established by the objective set by NATO, and not even to 1.53% who has committed to the allies. The draft budget for this year submitted by the Government allocated 8,863 million to the Ministry of Defense, 1.5% more than in 2018, which means a freeze in real terms and a reduction in its weight in GDP (0.92 % last year).

On the contrary, the National Intelligence Center (CNI), the secret service that has become dependent on Defense, increases its budget by 4.8%, to 296 million, 14 more than this year. Of this figure, 197.5 correspond to personnel expenses and 19.8 to reserved funds, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2013. If the total budget is subtracted from the CNI, which this year was included in the Ministry of the Presidency , Defense will have 168 million less.

The majority of defense spending (4,608 million) goes to staff, although no compensation increase is expected beyond that of all civil servants. The total number of soldiers and sailors remains at 79,000. The department headed by Margarita Robles will be able to implement a plan to improve the barracks and the living conditions of the soldiers.

The real investment item amounts to 2,648 million, but 75% of this figure goes to the Special Weapons Programs (PEAS) already committed, so the rest of the military investments are reduced by 6.9%. The three autonomous agencies dependent on Defense (Social Security of the Armed Forces, Institute of Aerospace Technology and Defense Housing Institute) maintain their budget (1,183 million in total), although the second allocates eight million more staff.

On the contrary, the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation grows 2.6%, to 1,213 million euros. The development aid policy will receive 109 million more than now, which is an increase of 20%, to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development of the UN.

The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) will have 258 million, 48 million more than in this year, with an increase of 22.9%. Even so, Spanish cooperation will take time to recover from the 80% cut in its funds that it suffered during the crisis.

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