Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni vowed to increase the military spending to 2 percent of the country’s GDP, as the current military spending does not exceed 1.38 percent.
Meloni said Tuesday that she was standing by her government’s plans to increase military spending, saying it was necessary to defend “freedom”, as she reported to the Senate ahead of this week’s EU summit, according to (ANSA) news agency.
“This government is used to defending the national interest,” Meloni said.
“We have never made any secret of wanting to increase allocations for military spending, as previous governments did, perhaps secretly, without owning up to it,” the Italian Premier said.
“We do own up to it, as we are convinced that respecting the commitments (on military spending) is vital to defending the national interest….Freedom has a price. If you are not able to defend it, others do, but they do so by putting a price in it”, she added.
In a Senate hearing after the last ministerial meeting of NATO, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto had announced that commitment to spend 2 percent of Italy’s GDP on defense is difficult to achieve.
NATO members pledged at the Wales Summit in 2014 to increase their defense spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic products by 2024. Nine years after Wales pledge, and nearly a year after the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, the allies began talks a few weeks ago about how to set the military spending target.
Source: Qatar News Agency