Government promises good execution of military laws with opposition calling for more investment

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Helena Carreiras said that what was done in 2021 and 2022 creates the expectation that it will be possible to “improve the execution of this law.

The Minister of Defense, Helena Carreiras, assured today that the government will execute “as best as possible” the laws of programming and military infrastructure, in a debate in which the parties asked for more investment for this area of sovereignty. …

“We have the commitment to execute well, to execute as well as possible, and more, because there are mechanisms that we have been introducing, of monitoring, of information, of flexible management, that guarantee us that this objective will be pursued, in one law as in the other, we want to do it,” said Helena Carreiras .

The minister was speaking in parliament, during the general debate on the proposed Military Programming Law (MPL) and Military Infrastructure Law (MIF), in which the opposition has repeatedly expressed its concern over the low execution rates of both laws in previous years.

“This is the largest [Military Programming] bill in terms of absolute value that we’ve ever had, and that seems very significant to me. We are presenting it at a time when we have also just registered the largest execution ever of a Military Programming Law in absolute values, in the year 2022, 469 million euros were executed. And in relation to a year in which the execution of this same law had a record in terms of recovery,” stressed the minister.

Helena Carreiras said that what was done in 2021 and 2022 creates the expectation that it will be possible to “improve the execution of this law.

In her opening speech, the governor had already highlighted that the PML proposal foresees an overall investment amount of 5,570 million Euros until 2034 with objectives such as recovering maintenance, modernization and sustainment deficits or “restoring war reserves to levels compatible with the new geopolitical scenario.

On the proposed Military Infrastructure Law – which provides for total “infrastructure projects” up to 2034 of more than 272 million euros – the minister said that the goal is to “dignify and monetize” assets allocated to National Defense that have been made available and are no longer needed “for the collective needs of defense. .

The minister highlighted “the recent LIM contribution to affordable housing programs, which allows for stability in revenue inflows for National Defense infrastructure investments over the medium term.” .

Diogo Leão, from the PS, defended that the investment foreseen in the PML “makes a remarkable effort to match the level of ambition of the country and the subsequent level of ambition that the country projects in its Armed Forces”, adding that the PS is available to work with the other parties in the specialty.

“It has never been so important for us as a country during the 21st century to advocate greater and better investment in means and equipment that will modernize and enhance our Armed Forces and allow the Portuguese State to maintain and raise its contribution by fulfilling its sovereign commitments,” he stressed. .

For the PSD, António Prôa alerted to the “very poor” history of execution of previous laws, considering it important to clarify “if as a consequence of accumulated maintenance deficits” the operability of some equipment was not “definitely at stake”.

The social-democrat argued that investment in the Armed Forces “is necessary” and pointed out that it remains “below international commitments on the need to strengthen Defense. .

As for the building of cyber defense capabilities — something that has already led the PSD to request the minister’s presence in parliament — António Prôa pointed to delays, after the minister said: “I don’t believe there are any delays, and those that exist are obviously recoverable. .

Pedro Pessanha, from Chega, considered the investment foreseen in the law insufficient taking into consideration “the timeframe for its application and the real shortages and current needs”, insisting on the importance of increasing to 2% of GDP “the annual defense budget, as Portugal has committed to its NATO partners”. .

IL’s Rodrigo Saraiva expressed his “cautious agreement in general” with the bills, but pointed out that the “low execution rate over the years” does not allow the party to “have absolute confidence” in the presented document. .

For the BE, Joana Mortágua criticized Portugal’s “posture of subservience” to NATO and defended investment “in the pay and working conditions of the military” or in national industry, recalling the Alfeite Arsenal. …

João Dias, from the PCP, announced the party’s vote against the PML and abstention on the LIM, calling for more investment in the Armed Forces and arguing that this PML proposal “does not reflect the lessons that led the Armed Forces to the state they are in.

Inês Sousa Real, of the PAN, defended the need for Defense to become “more sustainable”, stating that she will propose amendments to that effect, and the only representative of the Livre party, Rui Tavares, insisted on the importance of making military assets profitable for social use or housing.

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