SaS: Constitutional Law on Higher Defence Spending Necessary

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 1 (TASR) – Parliamentary parties should adopt a declaration leading to a constitutional law stipulating the duty of gradually increasing Slovakia’s defence budget to reach at least 2 percent of its GDP, opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP and former defence minister Lubomir Galko said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference, Galko unveiled an initiative entitled ‘Plus 0.1 percent of GDP Annually’ that should lead to the adoption of the aforementioned constitutional law. “A similar one is in place in Poland,” he noted, adding sarcastically that a state that doesn’t ensure its protection on its own will end up being ‘protected’ by a foreign force.

“Nonetheless, the Slovak Armed Forces have been going nowhere fast. We aren’t meeting our financial and military commitments towards NATO, with training suffering as well,” said Galko.

The condition of the Slovak military was strongly criticised on Tuesday by President Andrej Kiska, who stated that Slovak soldiers have obsolete military equipment and that the army is behind schedule in meeting its commitments vis-a-vis the country’s allies. “Unfortunately, we’ve just been making promises, but failing to meet our commitments for several years,” stated Kiska.

“We’re cheating our defence capability, we’re cheating our citizens by not telling them the truth about the actual condition of our army and security. And we’re cheating our soldiers by constantly promising them something, but failing to do it,” said the president, who sees no will to change this situation. Therefore, he asked Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) to push for these problems to be addressed at a cabinet session.