The Government has already begun to negotiate with the PP its support for the arrival of two more US destroyers at the Rota base to increase NATO’s naval military force, as Pedro Sánchez has promised with Joe Biden in the framework of the summit from Madrid of the Atlantic Alliance.
The Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, has called the PP’s Institutional Deputy Secretary, Esteban González Pons, after the rejection of United We Can to support this increase in US military force.
The call took place yesterday, as reported by El Confidencial and confirmed by EL MUNDO. Sources from Genoa assure this newspaper that the call was “little concrete and lacking in information that had not been previously published in the media.”
The PP spokeswoman in Congress and number two in Feijóo, Cuca Gamarra, assured on Wednesday that the PP will support the increase in US destroyers that will host the Rota naval base: “We will always be up to what Spain needs and we are the alternative and a government party”, replied the popular spokesperson.
With the support of the two major parties, the measure could be accelerated to the maximum, but in the PP they believe that it should be formally negotiated, and the Executive is displeased that it has not responded to the proposal for a State pact on defense and security that This same month he has sent Feijóo to Pedro Sánchez.
But, although the ‘popular’ people make Sánchez ugly by the dissonance within his Council of Ministers, they affirm that their support is beyond any doubt, not only out of conviction, but also out of high-mindedness and sense of state.
In the Parliamentary Group of United We Can they have not received any call from Margarita Robles, according to training sources. This means that the PSOE prioritizes the PP, aware of the difficulty in reaching an agreement with the ‘purple’ partner.
Pedro Sánchez will already increase in 2023 the budget allocated for defense spending. The President of the Government does not want the profits obtained from holding the NATO summit in Madrid to go to waste. “Spain’s capacity for influence in the international context is going to be measured by its European and Atlantic commitment to the defense budget”, acknowledged the President of the Government. Thus, in the Public Accounts project that will be transferred to Congress, an increase in military spending will be reflected, despite the fact that this decision generates the rejection of its governance partners.
Sánchez knows that increasing the defense budget means closing doors to the support of his partners, both the leftist forces and the nationalists. But he is determined. He wants to comply with what was agreed in NATO to be at 2% of defense spending by 2029 or 2030. “It is a debate that we have to face in Spain both from the point of view of the parties to the right and in the progressive space “, he reflected in an interview on La 1. And he warned: “The world is very complicated. It is very cold. We have to defend our way of living and interacting democratically.”
The head of the Executive has not specified what the amount of the increase in public spending on Defense will be. In the 2022-2025 Stability Program prepared by the Executive, it is stated that this increase will be two tenths of GDP in 2023.
Aware of the rejection that this decision causes in his own government partners, United We Can, or in formations such as ERC, Bildu, More Country…. Sánchez already undertakes an educational speech to try to redirect the foreseeable refusals: “Increase the budget in Defense generates jobs, wealth and opportunities”. And he has given Galicia or Cádiz as examples, alluding to the construction, for example, of ships.
But the debate is open. The purpose of La Moncloa is to present its Budget project for 2023 “in a timely manner”. In fact, the ministries are already transferring their requests to the Treasury. In the Executive they do contemplate supporting, together with the PP, the agreement with the US to increase the number of American destroyers at the Rota base to 6, but they do not give the least chance for the popular support their public accounts. The option is to offer its members accounts with significant social spending that offsets and dilutes the increase in Defense.
Social winks important enough for these leftist and nationalist formations to be able to ‘sell’ to their own who negotiate some social accounts, diluting military spending. However, as this newspaper has reported, the EU demands that Sánchez drastically contain current spending in the Budgets for 2023. Therefore, it remains to be seen what margin there will be for public spending. The first measure to find out will be in July, when the Government proposes the spending ceiling for 2023.
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