A ROW has erupted within Spain’s ruling coalition over defence spending. 

On Tuesday July 6, Pedro Sanchez announced a €1 billion boost to Spain’s defence budget. 

Such a boost would fulfill the NATO requirement for each member to spend at least 2% of its national budget of defence.

However, its left-wing coalition partner, Podemos, opposes the move, and said it only became aware of the measure via the press.

Sanchez Snip
Pedro Sanchez at the NATO summit in Madrid last week.
Photo: Cordon Press.

“Spending on weapons at the demand of a foreign power rather than investing it in better healthcare, education and social protection is not a budget that our country needs,” said Podemos’ leader Ione Belarra on Monday.

The government said the money was necessary to ‘deal with all the extraordinary expenses’ tied to the war in Ukraine.

Spain currently spends around 1% of GDP on national defence, making it one of the lowest spenders on defence in NATO as a proportion of its GDP.

Podemos are now demanding an urgent meeting on the matter, which they say violates an agreement that was made when the coalition was formed in 2020.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, of the Socialist Party, cirticised Podemos’ opposition.

“I can’t believe that any political force could be against guaranteeing Spain’s security and protection at a time when the threat to our security has increased in a way that it hasn’t done in decades,” he said.


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