Spain’s far-right Vox party urges rise in military spending to keep pace with Morocco

Spanish far-right Vox party urged an increase of military spending by 2% to be able to stay at pace with Morocco.

In a memorandum to the Spanish congress, the fourth largest political party in Spain said bolstering the defense budget would help Spain keep up with the increasing armament of Morocco, which it described as one of the largest armies in Africa with a manpower of 200,000 soldiers and advanced weaponry.

The far-right party cites Morocco as an example saying that the North African Kingdom boosted military spending by 50% in the last decade.

The populist party also called for strengthening ties with the US and warned of what it perceived as closer ties between Morocco and the US, the largest arms supplier for Spain.

While noting that the US looks at Morocco as a trusted partner in Africa, Vox MPs urged their government to foster ties with Washington with a view to “guarantee support in case of a conflict with neighboring countries.”

The Vox party raised fears that Morocco might claim sovereignty over territories near its territorial waters.

Morocco’s recent plan to modernize its army and develop a defense industry to reduce reliance on exports has stirred concerns in Spain and Algeria.

The launch by Morocco of two reconnaissance satellites in 2017 and 2018 in particular has widened the gap with Spain in terms of reconnaissance capabilities.

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