From the Quintos de Mora estate to La Moncloa and the Teatro Real. Pedro Sánchez and Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, today completed their third day of bilateral work in preparation for the summit that the Alliance is holding at the end of June in Madrid. The appointment this Monday was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Spain’s entry into NATO, an act presided over by the King. The President of the Government has put on the table that remaining in this organization “is essential to guarantee our model of life and the future”, while he has ratified his commitment to increase military spending.

A few words pronounced before an audience with more than 300 guests, before the presidents of Congress, the Senate, the Judiciary, former presidents Felipe González, José María Aznar and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Mariano Rajoy excused his presence), the leader of the opposition, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, spokespersons such as Iván Espinosa de los Monteros (Vox) or Edmundo Bal (Cs), and up to eight ministers, all from the socialist sector -Margarita Robles, José Manuel Albares, Teresa Ribera, Félix Bolaños, Fernando Grande- Marlaska, Pilar Llop, María Jesús Montero and Luis Planas.

Because no representative of United We Can have attended the event, not even Vice President Yolanda Díaz. The purples maintain a critical position regarding NATO, its existence and its actions and, in fact, the shipment of weapons to Ukraine caused a division within the coalition.

“There are other priorities”, it has been justified from Podemos, a party that has advanced that none of its leaders will participate in the imminent NATO summit either, at the same time that it has defended the celebration in our country of a great international act for the peace and has charged head-on against Sánchez’s announcement to increase defense spending.

The purples, even, have not remained in the plant to the act, but have gone further and have accused the Prime Minister of ‘dedazos’ in the organization of the summit at the end of June in Madrid. “We think that there are other priorities to those 37 million that it is going to cost and that it has been awarded by hand,” said Sánchez Serna. “They are not going to benefit a peaceful scenario and they could have been much better invested in education and public health.”

On April 26, the Council of Ministers approved the agreement authorizing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation to contract the temporary assignment of spaces and the provision of services and supplies for the organization of the NATO Summit in Madrid, for an estimated value of 29,752,066.11 euros.

That yes, the Executive took refuge in that there were circumstances related to the protection of essential interests for the security of the State to award the contracts through the negotiated procedure without publicity.

Article 19 of the Law on Public Sector Contracts under which the Government takes refuge establishes that contracts “in which the protection of essential interests for the security of the State, when the protection of the essential interests in question cannot be guaranteed through the application of the norms that govern the contracts subject to harmonized regulation in this Law”.

It is required that the declaration that this circumstance occurs must be made expressly in each case by the head of the Ministerial Department on which the contracting authority depends.

Sánchez turns a deaf ear to the discomfort of his government partner and has made a profuse defense of the need not only to belong to NATO, but to deepen the bond, even more so after the war in Ukraine. “Unity and cohesion among the allies is the best deterrence weapon. Faced with the enemies of open societies such as those that the allies defend,” said Sánchez, alluding to Putin, “we must be right in our decisions and in defining of our most immediate future”.

For La Moncloa it is key to “preserve the unity of all of us who believe in democracy” and that unity is seen as key to “strengthen security. Many people [with the war in Ukraine] have understood that our security is not guaranteed indefinitely , that adversity can settle in our societies and corrupt everything. The coordinated and daily effort of the allies is essential”.

In this framework of strengthening ties, Sánchez has ratified before the Secretary General of NATO and the members of the Atlantic Council, his commitment to increase the Government’s investment in Defense, something that his partner Podemos does not share either. The head of the Executive has pointed out that the only way to reinforce the deterrence capacity, the military capacities, is “by means of an increase in investment in Defense”.

The President of the Government has sent a clear message to those who criticize this position of allocating more public resources to military spending: “We have to convey to society that we must make this effort because the cost of standing idly by while putting freedom and our model of peaceful and democratic coexistence are in check”.

This need to belong to NATO to defend rights and freedoms has also been defended by Felipe VI, who closed the act. Following the line of a didactic and practical message, the King has referred, how could it be otherwise, to the war in Ukraine. “What is at risk is not only its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, the peace of the entire European continent and, by extension, the rules-based international order that we all helped build over the past decades. “.

Looking at Ukraine, but also at the terrible attacks that Spain suffered on March 11, 2004 to claim the need for joint and collaborative work to face threats such as terrorism. “That tragedy reinforced Spain’s conviction that only through the committed work of the State Security Forces and Bodies, the intelligence services, the Armed Forces, as well as a firm determination for multilateralism, international cooperation , unity, cohesion and solidarity with our Allies we will be able to defeat the terrorist threat, without ever forgetting the permanent memory of the victims”.

The Monarch, who this afternoon is offering a private lunch to the most distinguished guests at this commemorative event, has not only limited himself to pointing out the importance for Spain of being a NATO member, but has also wanted to place special emphasis on what the organization with this alliance. “NATO strengthened its political and military dimension, and gained greater strategic depth.” And he added: “NATO has benefited from Spain’s strategic situation and its commitment to military and conceptual contributions, but also from our different and enriching strategic perspective”.

The war has pushed the relationship between socialists and purples to the limit. United We Can has not been informed throughout these weeks of conflict of the decisions adopted by La Moncloa regarding the sending of offensive material and the minority member has redoubled its public rejection of the roadmap adopted by Pedro Sánchez. Even the United Left stood out during Volodímir Zelenski’s intervention in Congress on April 5, and Secretary of State Enrique Santiago avoided applauding the Ukrainian president.

The differences, a few weeks before the start of the summit, as has been demonstrated this Monday, are permanent and although they are not expected to tense the Government until it breaks, they do show the lack of harmony on such a crucial issue as the response to a war. “We are in defense of peace. The priority for us is social spending,” said Javier Sánchez Serna, co-spokesperson for the group led by Ione Belarra, to explain the absence of the minority member of the Government at the event chaired by Stoltenberg.

Conforms to The Trust Project criteria