Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spain: growing military and police budgets

While there are budgetary cuts for every sector, the Armed Forces are instead being well fed in what the Basque antimilitarist committee Gasteizkoak compares to a military coup against the populace and their interests. While everything else is cut down brutally, no matter if its pensions or solar energy, the Armed Forces and the Police are totally unscathed (at most with purely aesthetic retouches).

They also warn to the very unusual accumulation of military voices, very specially against Catalan independence, in what seems a clear attempt to take the power back into military hands.

In 2012 alone the real military budget has grown 40% by means of extraordinary credits which total € 2,537 billion. These include € 755 billion for foreign missions (notably Afghanistan but also Bosnia and Kosovo), while € 1,783 were approved, in the very eve of the two-million demo of Barcelona for Catalan independence, to buy new weaponry, in what Gazteizkoak interpret as an attempt to limit military discontent by buying new toys for the angry kids. 

The situation is similar in the Police Forces, which are the only state body that has offered new employment (45,300 new jobs in the National Police and Guardia Civil) in 2012 and will repeat in 2013 according to all predictions. 

In the Western Basque Country, some 520 new regional police have been recruited in the last few years as well. The Interior Department (essentially: police) has seen its budget cut since 2009 in a mere € 29 million, a totally symbolic amount.

Gasteizkoak also denounces the military industry, which they denounce as useless and parasitic, being the only sector with a clear growth in these times of crisis. A clear sign that public budget, even if camouflaged, has not decreased at all for the weaponry industry. Among them are Basque companies ITP, Sener and Sapa, whose profits have grown strongly in the crisis. 

Source: Gara[es].

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