Defense Minister Margarita Robles, in the debate on the draft law on general state budgets for 2021 in the Congress of Deputies, explained how these resources will be used and converted into military capabilities within the ministry. . In her speech, the minister emphasized that the defense budget will be provided with loans amounting to 9,411.93 million euros, 4.64% more (417.59 million euros) compared to 2020.
The minister announced that the Council of Ministers would approve the abolition of the 20% cut in the salaries of the military in the reserve at the age of 63 in order to meet one of the main demands of the professional bodies of the EU armed forces and political groups. He also highlighted the 175 million increase in staff costs, with improvements in troop and seafarer salaries that he hopes will take effect on Jan. 1. A relevant structural improvement for troops and seafarers, raising the base level of the target complement from the current 13 to 14.
It was also stated that a planned vacancy of 6,500 positions will be posted during 2021, in addition to the addition of 3,500 soldiers and sailors to the armies and navy in January.
Another highlight was the announcement that the defense will also make “special efforts” for the network of military hospitals. “In this crisis situation due to the pandemic, we will improve military health resources,” said the minister. Robles has highlighted the commitment to mediation policy and the improvement of the living conditions of the men and women of the armed forces, and has pushed the increase in child rearing places from 29 to 29 centers with 294 new squares.
A total of 439.6 million euros will be made available in the area of personnel training, with an increase of 2%, particularly in relation to the orientation of the troops and seafaring personnel and the strengthening of the Get + and Rumbo Empleo programs.
In addition, in this chapter, Robles announced an increase of 25.4 million euros to improve the military’s communication with their families and relatives on missions abroad. In peacekeeping operations, their credits are also increased to meet the needs of the units displaced abroad. In the investment chapter, the loans amount to EUR 3,090 million, which is 32.8% of the total budget of the Ministry, with particular interest in the special modernization plans, the allocation of which is increased by EUR 177.1 million (a 8.2%) .
These programs serve the goals of defense policy, but also contribute to those of other government policies: employment, labor or overseas actions, Robles said, adding that they also give Spain and Europe technological independence.
Finally, the provision for defense research, development and innovation totaled EUR 30.44 million and increased by almost EUR 8 million.
Source: Ministry of Defense
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