Sánchez raises the defense budget in full clash with UP

The Minister council has approved this Tuesday a loan of An additional 1,000 million euros for Defense to fulfill Spain’s commitment to NATO of progressively rise to 2% of GDP in 2029 the budget in this matter. He has done it despite the outright rejection of United We Can, which has requested an urgent meeting of the coalition follow-up pact. Among other things, he has bothered the purple formation that the formula of the Contingency Fundwith which the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, circumvents Congress and avoids a new clash with its partners there and the possible need to agree with the PP.

The Contingency Fund is an arranged mechanism in the General Law of Budgetary Stability for deal with unforeseen situations, as could be in this case the war in Ukraine, which has led many countries of the European Union and NATO to reinforce their security and military spending. It is used for unforeseen and non-deferrable expenses that cannot be deferred until the next financial year. It does not affect the present or future General State Budgets in the event that there is a remainder in the extra credit.

This mechanism makes it possible to immediately provide an extra budget to some area without the need for validation in the Congress of Deputieswhere the Executive will have to move forward, however, the increase from four to six US destroyers at the Rota base to which Sánchez committed in his meeting during the NATO summit with Joe Biden. In this debate, Sánchez will not be able to avoid the clash with United We Can, which has already advanced that it will vote against this increase in destroyers.

The contingency fund, in addition, has gone ahead this Tuesday without the need to be voted in the Council of Ministers. The Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, has justified this fact in that the contingency funds “are not submitted for consideration” in this body “because they are previously worked on”.

Díaz asks for an “urgent” meeting of the coalition pact

The discomfort in United We Can has been increasing exponentially in recent days but has reached its peak with the approval of this extraordinary credit and the formula used.

The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diazhas announced that United We Can has requested the “urgent” call of the coalition monitoring commission. Do you think this issue deserves a “serene” discussion in the midst of the inflation crisis, and has warned that in politics “forms are as important as the substance” of the issue. He also points out that the progressive increase in Defense up to 2% of GDP to which Sánchez has committed will mean an allocation for this department of 22,000 million euros, when Labor has 30,000 for “the entire mechanism of social benefit, unemployment or the ERTES”, which are “very important measures”.

He has also criticized the application of the contingency fund “not for Navantia” and its workers, as the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, has insinuated“but for current expenditure”. And it is that this mechanism is planned to deal with unforeseen situations.

The PSOE sees the meeting “within normality in a coalition government”

Asked about the urgent meeting requested by United We Can, Rodríguez (PSOE) has valued it within “normality in a coalition government.” “It is a regular meeting between the parties that make up the coalition, regular and normal, and that is what it is for,” he said at a press conference after the Council of Ministers. He has also said that, whenever PSOE and United We Can have met on the matter, the Executive has come out “reinforced”.

United We Can accuses the PSOE of “disloyal”

For his part, the president of the United We Can parliamentary group in Congress, Jaume Asens, has accused the PSOE of “disloyal” for approving “through the back door” one billion for Defense, although it has not made it clear that they will not break the coalition. He has admitted that the measure arrived, as reported by Moncloa, to the General Commission of Secretaries of State and Undersecretaries that was held last week, but insists that they are not “forms” and that there has been no debate. But United We Can reproaches the PSOE for not having had a direct debate between the ministers of both formations.

United We Can not face the PSOE in Congress due to the increase in defense spending but it will because of the increase from four to six destroyers of the US at the Rota base that Sánchez agreed with Joe Biden last week. United We Can has already advanced that it will vote against.

In the last days, the gap within the coalition government has been widening At the same time, the differences in terms of Defense have served as glue within United We Can, where until now Díaz had maintained a certain equidistance between the PSOE ministers and the ‘purples’, with whom he even disagreed on other issues such as sending weapons to Ukraine, which she defended.

Finally, the rise of these 1,000 million in Defense also comes a few days after Díaz officially launches his project ‘Sumar’next Friday in Madrid, and one week before the State of the Union Debatewhich will be held for the first time since 2015.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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