The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchezhas defended the progressive increase to 2% of GDP in defense spending until 2029 and has said that there will be a first rise in the Budget project State General for next year, so has asked for the support of “all forces” and, specifically, to space to the “left of the PSOE”: “I will ask for it to be a country commitment.”
In an interview in The hour of TV Since the NATO summit, he has assured that the defense budget “generates employment, companies and wealth”, as has been seen, he has said, in different territories such as Galicia or Cádiz. He has also insisted that investment in defense both in Europe and in the countries of the Atlantic Alliance it is aimed at “dissuading” possible threats and not at attacking to other countries, in an argument with which he is trying to convince the United We Can, in which there is a debate and rejection of both NATO and the increase in defense.
Sánchez has reaffirmed his commitment to a rise to 2% of GDP of defense spending until 2029. “We have to meet that goal.which transcends the legislature of 2023,” he said, and insisted that in this “all political forces must be recognized.” “I will ask for it to be a country commitment”has pointed out.
“It is a debate that we have to face in Spain both from the point of view of games of the right as in the progressive political space“, he stressed, and before the parties that wonder why increase defense spending and cry out ‘be careful with NATO’, he warned: “No. NATO is an alliance of democracies in defense of democracyand democracy must be defended by increasing our deterrence capabilities”.
“We have to be aware that beyond Europe or NATO, the world is very complicated, very difficult, it is very cold and it is important to defend our way of living and relating based on an internal order” with certain rules that are included in the United Nations Charter and that “are the ones that Putin has violated,” he asserted. Rules that defend respect for territorial integrity and national sovereignty, he added.
“The influence of Spain will be measured by its commitment to defense”
When asked if will increase the defense budget this yearI have answered: “It is the proposal that I am going to make to the Cortes Generales”. Thus, it has ensured thatto the capacity of influence that Spain has in the international context “it will be measured by its European and Atlantic commitment to the defense budget”.
He remembered that at the 2014 Wales summit, three issues were agreed upon. The first, that the countries approximate their budget in 2% defense of its gross domestic product. “Us we are far”Sanchez said. But Spain does comply with the other two points agreed then. The second is to increase the existing investment in defense to over 20%, and the third is the participation of the Alliance countries in all NATO missions. Regarding the 20%, Sánchez has said that Spain is “well above” this increase, and also that it is in all the missions except in Kosovo.
“We have to be responsible and supportive” with what is happening in Ukraine, he said, but he has also committed himself to the “demand” to reinforce all security capabilities on the southern flank, both from a budget point of view and with the expansion from four to six destroyers of USA at the Rota base (Cádiz), which also “would be important for it to have the approval of all the forces, also to the left of the PSOE”.
“The objectives of the summit have been met”
On the other hand, Sánchez has celebrated that the result of the NATO summit, which ends this Thursday, “could not be more optimal” both from the point of view of the “image” of Spain and the resolutions reached by the Alliance Atlantic, which has approved its strategy for the next decade with Russia as the main “threat” and China as the “challenge”. “The objectives are met”, has added.
The Chief Executive has assured that “We are at a defining moment for European security” for the war in Ukraine. “It is a historic summit because we are talking about the future”, he added, and because NATO’s strategy is defined until 2030 with the “strategic concept of Madrid”. Also, because the weight of Europe as a political project is reinforced with the incorporation of Sweden and Finland: “Today, we have 30 allies, of which 23 are from the European Union”.
Asked whether Spain is obliged to add more military personnel to the missions in which it already participates, the President of the Government stressed that the nature of these missions is “deterrence”: “Not attack, but defense”. A commitment to defend “every inch of allied territory.”
In this regard, he pointed out that all member countries are “at the orders of the military unit and the military leadership of NATO” in this regard. And he has recalled that the troops have already been increased in Latvia and Lithuania, and will be done soon in Estonia and Bulgaria. And he has stressed the importance of reinforcing the southern flank, where Russia “has expanded” in areas “very important for security” such as the Sahel, specifically in Mali.