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World without Wars and Violence

International Humanist Organisation - Official Website

Spanish campaign to reduce military spending

Spanish campaign to reduce military spending

In October last year, the International Association "World without Wars" started a signature collection campaign through the internet advocating for a drastic reduction of military spending to reduce the national deficit as an alternative to the cuts in social spending implemented by the government.

You can see the proposal in Spanish through this link:

http://actuable.es/peticiones/dilenuestro-gobierno-recorte-gastosmilitares-y-no

It is our understanding that a fair and correct austerity policy should, in the first place, start to hit those less necessary sections of the budget such as weapons spending. Year after year and government after government, in World without Wars we watch in amazement as investment in "Defence" and "Security" is double that given over to Health and Education, as if the prosperity of a country were determined by the number of soldiers and policemen instead of the number of doctors and teachers.

Despite everything and in response to this initiative, the Presidency sent us a letter in which they shamefully argued that such measures are not possible given that the Spanish military industry generates many jobs, leading one to understand that the most important thing is to create employment at any cost regardless of ethical and moral questions regarding the activity undertaken. In this letter they even managed to underhandedly suggest that Spaniards should feel proud of the high level of technology achieved in the field of murder and mutilation of other human beings by our country.

 

Letter of reply

From World without Wars and Violence, we’d like to firstly clarify that the objective of the Campaign that we launched is not to urge the Government to reduce the general budget destined to Defence in a drastic and homogenous way. What we are suggesting is that our country stops buying weapons for one year in order to save the 18 billion euros which is more than what will be cut from the social budget. We are simply saying that our military grease their guns well and take care of the tanks, planes and boats that they have in order that they may last one more year.

Nevertheless and as you touch on this matter in your letter stating that, in terms of the loans granted, the budget destined to Defence was austere; We’d like to know then how you qualify the budget destined to Health and Education being half that of the Defence budget… Would maybe pathetic or miserable be the correct epithet? And what about Culture that receives a quarter? Not even with a dictionary in hand could we find the right adjective…

But the most surprising thing in the letter is the argument wielded that the military industry is useful because it generates a lot of employment.

This position is as desperate as it is shameful and immoral. Following these criteria we could even end up justifying the existence of organised crime, prostitution rings or drug trafficking given the great number of people occupied in them.

 

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