Spain plans to increase its defense budget by 73 percent to €18 billion ($22 billion) by 2024, defense minister Maria Dolores de Cospeda said.
Cospeda told the parliamentary defense commission on Wednesday that the additional spending is part of the government’s plan to increase the military budget to 1.53 percent of GDP. The current defense budget is 0.92 percent of GDP.
Spain is also planning to increase the military deployment in Mali to 292 from the 140 personnel currently into the country.
“We are seeing a new deterioration of the security situation in Mali, there are constant attacks against Malian institutions, against the U.N. stabilisation mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and against Western interests and personnel,” The Local quoted her as saying.
In November, Spain joined 22 other European Union states in signing a joint declaration to boost military expenditures and defense research funding.