Last Easter, François Hollande, President of France, announced that in the following five years the French military expenditure will be not increased, resulting in a cut of 30,000 million euros. He also plans to make redundant one third of the French army, which is currently made up of 300,000 soldiers. This is the most significant cut executed in the French defence budget so far.
Last summer, the British army also announced major cuts: 20,000 out of the current 120,000 soldiers of the British army will be made redundant.
What about Spain, where the financial crisis is much more devastating than in those two countries? No news, on the contrary. In Spain there is twice the number of soldiers than in the UK (despite having 16 million inhabitants less). There are no cuts, but on top of it, the budget for the Spanish army will be increased in 28.21%.
On this same day when these cuts in the French army were announced, newspapers also reported how the Spanish defence budget is wasted: a pilgrimage to Lourdes for 17 military men and police officers, costing 12,331 euros.
- France announces a cut in its military budget: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9955667/French-defence-cuts-could-harm-British-military-partnership.html
- Cuts in the British army: http://www.deliveringdata.com/2012/07/cutout-soldiers.html
- Increase in the Spanish defence budget: http://www.deliveringdata.com/2012/09/a-crisis-free-army.html
- The Spanish Ministry of Defence finances a pilgrimage to Lourdes: http://www.laicismo.org/detalle.php?pk=20067