Dozens of soldiers – some 300 according to the government delegation in Madrid – have mobilized this Saturday in the capital to demand salary improvements, with the aim of “dignifying” a profession and defending “a stable future” for the troops.

In the march, organized by the associations ASFASPRO, ATME and UMT, slogans such as “Robles, listen, open the piggy bank” have been heard and slogans have been read on banners such as “for fair remuneration”, “we ask for what is fair” or ” with good words our families do not eat”.

Marco Antonio Gómez, president of the Association of Spanish Troops and Sailors (ATME), has criticized the “shameful salaries” of the military and has censured that the Ministry of Defense “is not up to the task” of improving working conditions and pay of the military.

“Today, a soldier is earning net, what he takes home, 1,078 euros,” Gómez denounced Efe, while pointing out that the troops are “perfectly prepared and qualified” professionals who do not deserve to be the “worst paid of all public administration”.

The military representative has also criticized that the increase in military spending of 2% of GDP announced by the Government of Spain will not be used to improve wages, but to purchase material.

“It seems very good to us, but we must not forget one thing: the most important thing in an army, which is its personnel to wield and drive those vehicles, is us. If we are not well paid, well motivated and there are no personnel, you are welcome. It’s worth having the best means”, he recalled.

For his part, Miquel Penyarroja i Prats, president of the Professional Association of Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces (AFASPRO), has demanded “respect” for the military “uniqueness of the profession” and has underlined that the troops have promised to “pour to the last drop of blood” for the benefit of the mission and the orders to be transferred to them.

“But that, in return, cannot mean the neglect in which they have us. Our discipline and our love of service are being abused,” said Prats, who has also blurted out that political leaders “recognize any professional group ” with the exception of the military, who are not rewarded for their “professional career” or for their efforts.

The improvement is necessary because the personnel of the armies are obliged “to die and to kill” if necessary in fulfillment of their mission, a circumstance that is not required of any other civilian and for which they should be compensated “at the end of the month “.

“But it is computed backwards, it is computed to take away our salary,” he has failed.

In line with his colleagues, Francisco Bellón, president of the Union of Military Troops (UMT), has demanded “a worthy career” for professionals in the sector, as well as the end of age limits and calls to be able to promote other scales.

These circumstances “weigh down” the professional development of the troops and leave them with “very poor” salaries, he launched, while indicating that, on the scale of troops and sailors, the circumstance is occurring that the personnel “are costing money to go to their destinations” to work.

“That is unacceptable in a first world country like Spain,” he settled.

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