Spain’s real military expenditure for 2022
New report: Investments in weapons shoot up the Defence Budget in the second year of the pandemic
Download and read the full report in English here.
The real military expenditure in the State General Budget for 2022 approved by the coalition government between PSOE (center-left) and Unidas Podemos (left) amounts to 22.8 billion of euros, a plus 124% from what is allocated directly to the Ministry of Defence (10.15 billion), which means a new historical record and a 5.75% increase with respect to the previous year. This growth responds partly to the 16.2% increase on armament investments, which reach 4.5 billion, that is the 21.38% of the overall state investment or, what is the same, that 1 out of each 5 euros invested by the state administration has a military goal. Daily military expenditure amounts to 62 million euros, which means 479 euro per inhabitant.
Furthermore, military R&D increases by 8.76%, with 938.5 million euros allocated to it, 708.2 of which are dedicated to developing new weapons. The military R&D recovery since the end of the crisis compared to civilian R&D would be even more striking if it wasn’t for the European funds received for civilian R&D in this budget. Considering that the budget execution rate of civilian R&D (51% in 2020) is usually much lower than military R&D (97% in 2020), and that the percentage of reimbursement of granted credits is insignificant, the unfair disadvantage between what Spain allocates to research in the civilian and the military spheres is apparent.
This new increase in military expenditure is highly linked to the Special Armament Programmes (PEA –Programas Especiales de Armamento), 34 of which have been approved to date, with an annual cost of 51.64 billion of euros. 17.39 billion have been approved by the two governments led by Pedro Sánchez since 2018 and include a recent allocation of 2,500 million for the second development phase of the Future Combat Air System programme (FCAS), with a final cost that can exceed 50 billion of euros, and including companies such as Airbus, Tecnobit, Indra, Sener, ITP Aero or GMV.
A historical analysis of the last quarter of the century (from 1996 to date) allows us to, precisely, identify in the PEA a key element for boosting and articulating of the Spanish military economy, and helps us explain spectacular increases in this period: 129% in military expenditure; 199% in military investments; 821% in military material produced by the industry; and 3,012% in arms exports. The political sign of the different governments that have followed one another in these 25 years has not altered in any way the preferential treatment that the Spanish military-industrial complex has received, favoured in the making of budgets and public policies and strongly interweaved in the State’s spheres of power. Such high levels of connivance between military industry, armed forces and Government explain the recent arms race tendency by Spain and often lead to ethically doubtful or outright illegal practices, as shown by several cases of corruption, influence trafficking or arm sells to countries involved in armed conflicts.
In a moment of health, social and climate crises as the one we are living, the inclusion of such a significant military expenditure in the Budget prepared by Pedro Sánchez’s government reveals a seriously doubtful order of preferences, as well as the privileges granted to the Spanish military-industrial complex. Seemingly, it makes evident the need for and urgency of reconsidering the concept of security in order to bring it closer to the real needs of people and thus better confront the true threats people live in their daily life, which have more to do with health, housing, jobs and environment than with deterrence or with projecting military power at the international level.
1. The military budget in 2022. Military investments or social expenditure?
1.1 Investments in armament in year 2022
1.2 Deviations between the initial and the actual budgets
1.3 The Defence Budget real cost
1.4 CO2 emissions by the armed forces
2. The military R&D in the 2022 State General Budget
2.1 About the 464A Programme
2.2 About the 464B Programme
2.3 Evolution of civilian and military R&D in recent years
3. 25 years of arms racing: tailor-made policies and public funds for the Spanish military-industrial complex
3.1 Spain in the arms race: Special Armament Programmes
3.2 Military economy boost in Spain from 1996 to 2022
See also the “Healthcare or Warfare” petition prepared by the Spanish Association of Peace Research (AIPAZ), which was registered together with this report at the Spanish Congress in Madrid on December 15, 2021.