The document includes an increase in the military budget to 1.2% of the gross domestic product for the year 2025
MADRID, 29 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Government has announced that it will increase defense spending until it reaches 2% of GDP in 2030, as stated in the 2022-2025 Stability Program that the Executive presented this Friday before sending it to the European Commission.
The document updating the economic forecasts includes an increase in the defense budget, “which stems from the government’s commitment to reach 2% of GDP set by NATO in 2030”.
In this way, the Government specifies the terms of the announcement made by the president, Pedro Sánchez, in March, to increase military spending up to that percentage of gross domestic product. At that time, Sánchez limited himself to saying that 2% would be reached “in the coming years”, without providing further details.
The plans of the Government sent to Brussels, go through achieving this objective “gradually”, so that by 2023 the funds for Defense would increase one tenth, going from the current 1% to 1.1%. For the years 2024 and 2025, it increases another tenth to 1.2% of GDP. This budget increase would be used for compensation of employees, intermediate consumption, gross capital formation and reinforcement of defense personnel, as stated in the text.
The document was presented this Friday by the First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, in a joint conference with the Minister of Finance and Public Administration, María Jesús Montero, where they announced the cut in their growth forecast for the Spanish economy to 4.3% for this year, 2.7 percentage points less than in its previous estimates (7%), in a context of high uncertainty due to the impact of the war on and the escalation of prices.
INCREASE “UNPOSTABLE” FOR SÁNCHEZ
Sánchez pointed out on March 14 in a television interview that Spain must increase the defense budget to progressively reach the objective set by NATO of 2% of GDP. According to him, this is the Government’s commitment and it would propose it to the rest of the political groups when it is time to prepare the next General State Budgets.
However, Sánchez stated that day that currently Spain’s defense spending is around 1.40% of GDP and, on the contrary, the document sent this Friday to Brussels puts it at 1%.
The announcement generated rejection in its coalition partner, United We Can, which was against both increasing military spending and sending weapons to the war in Ukraine, which was already underway.
Despite the criticism, the head of the Executive defended reaching 2% of GDP “in the coming years” and described it as “unpostponable”, although he clarified that “there is no military fickleness” but rather the desire to defend peace and democracy.