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Spain commits to boosting military spending by 80%

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Staff Writer | December 29, 2017
The Spanish government has committed to increasing its military spending by 80% over the next seven years in order to meet the benchmark set by NATO in 2014.
Spain army
Defense   How they will meet the 2014 goal
At the NATO Summit in Wales in 2014, members of the 28-nation organization promised to commit 2% of GDP to defense spending.

While Spain’s promise to increase spending falls below the 2%, representing between 1.5% and 1.6% of GDP, it equates to around €18 billion in total defense spending.

NATO countries have until December 21 of this year to explain how they will meet the 2014 goal. This goal has become more urgent with the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House.

In his first meeting with NATO leaders in May, the US president said NATO countries owed “massive amounts of money” and claimed that 23 of the 28 member countries “are still not paying what they should be paying... This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.”

The United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland are the five NATO countries which do dedicate 2% of GDP to defense spending. Spain is one of the last in line, spending 0.92% (2017 forecast), just ahead of Belgium and Luxembourg.

In a letter addressed to NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, the Spanish government has explained its plan to increase military spending above GDP growth in the next seven years until this hits €18 billion in 2024.

This figure represents an increase of around 80% on the government’s current spending but does not equate to 2% of Spain’s GDP.