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    Spain Blows Off Billions on Unjustified Military Purchases – Think Tank

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    The Spanish Ministry of Defense spends more money on weapons than necessary, buying arms that do not improve Spain’s defense, head of the Delas Center for Peace studies Pere Ortega told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — Since 2008, when the economic crisis in Spain began, the Spanish government has spent 130 billion euros ($139.76 billion) on military purposes, according to the Center’s estimates.

    "There is no danger to Spain's security that require such investments, no attacks from other countries," Ortega said.

    According to Ortega, the government buys very expensive weapons that have no practical use in the defense of Spain.

    Ortega cites the uselessness of purchasing 87 Eurofighter combat aircraft worth 11 billion euros, some still in manufacturing.

    "These fighters have never seen combat and never will because the United States already has aircraft of superior technology," the analyst said

    Another example of waste provided by Ortega is 239 Leopard tanks, bought by Spain, for which it paid more than 2.5 billion euros.

    "Spain does not expect any ground invasions where it would use so many tanks.”

    The primary risk to Spanish security is terrorism, but this issue "is primarily internal and the government cannot fight it with the army, so these purchases are not justified," Ortega stressed.

    According to the Delas Center president, the cause of these “useless” investments is the interest of the military industry, directly associated with politicians, such as Defense Minister Pedro Morenes.

    "Morenes is the main defender of the military industry's interests," the expert said.

    From 2008 through 2012 Spain experienced a deep recession and the worst unemployment rate in the Eurozone.

    The European Union's fiscal rules forced the Spanish government in 2012 to adopt an austerity program aimed at slashing the level of its state deficit to three percent by 2016. As a result, the country's authorities have reduced public services and social expenditures.

    Although Spain's economy began to recover in late 2013, the economic situation in the country is still grave. Spain's unemployment rate rose to 23.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from 23.67 percent in the third quarter, according to the National Statistics Institute.

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    Tags:
    military budget, Leopard 2, Eurofighter Typhoon, Delas Center for Peace studies, Pere Ortega, Spain
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