Minister Margarita Robles wants to make a “clear commitment to the Spanish defense industry” so that it is a “motor within the European Union” and serves to reactivate the economy in these times of crisis, since it involves investment in technology and innovation at the same time that it creates jobs.
The head of Defense appears this Friday in the Senate Defense Commission to explain its lines of action and account for the actions of the Armed Forces in the Balmis operation to fight the coronavirus, which has totaled 20,000 actions focused on 60 % in support for nursing homes.
Robles has established investment in the defense industry as one of the priorities of its department, which not only affects this area, but others such as technology and which involves the creation of qualified jobs.
“We have to make a clear commitment to the Spanish defense industry, which is a motor within the industry of Europe,” said the minister, for whom the “revitalization of the industry” is “essential” after the coronavirus crisis.
In this sense, he has referred to the participation of Spain with Germany and France in the project of the new European combat aircraft, as well as the contract of 2,100 million euros to build 348 tanks for the Army, in which it began to work in 2007 and this year it will be signed to be produced in Spain until 2030.
Regarding this last contract, it has indicated that in 2020 30 million will be contributed and throughout its development it will create 600 direct jobs and another 1,600 indirect ones, a “relief” for regions of Asturias, Seville and the Basque Country.
“This government is absolutely committed to the fact that there may be a revitalization of the industry,” Robles insisted, stressing that in this 8×8 project there is 70% of Spanish capital.
Apart from the investment in material, without which, she recalled, many Balmis actions could not have been carried out, the minister has proposed to strengthen Spain’s position in the international security system, because it cannot be alien “to what it passes a few thousand kilometers. “
“Every time there is a violation of human rights somewhere, every time there is a war, Spain cannot and should not put itself in profile”, he assured to remember the 188 soldiers who died in peacekeeping missions.
Within the personnel policy, he has highlighted his commitment to conciliation and to provide training to the military who have to leave the Army when they turn 45. “We do not want anyone to leave the Armed Forces without a professional intermediate grade degree,” he said.
Regarding the Balmis operation, he has highlighted the “debt of gratitude” to the military who have participated in an operation with “the sole objective of saving lives” and in which no policy has been pursued.
To date, the military has carried out almost 20,000 performances in Balmis in 2,250 towns, “from large cities to the smallest town.”
60% of them, he indicated, were from disinfection of nursing homes, where Covid-19 had a “terrible” effect. “We cannot put ourselves in profile”, he commented on this problem, because “this is a society that lives day by day and forgets our elders”.
For Robles, the “hardest efforts” of the operation were the transfer of patients and deaths by the Military Union of Emergencies and the Army. “People who died alone and people who could not be with their families,” whom the military helped “out of respect and affection.”
And about the infected members of the Armed Forces, he has reported that since the start of the pandemic 9,621 have been in quarantine and 682 have tested positive for Covid-19, of which 150 have needed to be hospitalized. Currently, there are 3 repatriated soldiers from international missions admitted to the Gómez Ulla hospital in Madrid, with positive evolution.
The minister ended her presentation by asking “forgiveness” to those who may have failed and highlighting her “pride for this page that the Armed Forces have written”, as well as reiterating her “apologies” for what she personally “may have failed”.