Spanish Military Call for ‘Dignified Remunerations’ in Madrid
Updated 18 October 2021
As scheduled, the demonstration of Spanish military, called by the three main professional associations, was held on 16 October under the moto: dignified remunerations. The march passed through the city center of Madrid to the Parliament building, where the representatives of AUME, ASFASPRO and ATME took the floor. The influx of protesters was considerable and media coverage on the event has been significant, considering the demonstration a remarkable success.
The Spanish military are tired of having their requests for updated salaries ignored year after year. and the point had been reached at which a demonstration in the streets was necessary.
The Spanish military has been making headlines in the media for a long time, showing citizens in uniform supporting all kinds of crises with their efforts, particularly in the last two years (pandemic, fires, snowfall, border control in Ceuta and Melilla, evacuation of Afghanistan …). On all these occasions, they have more than demonstrated their professionalism and excellent training. No matter how painful, harsh, dangerous or tense the situation may have been.
At the same time, they contue to remain in the very poor situation of having low wages for a long time (almost two decades without any real update). All political parties represented at the Parliament have recognized this is unfair. The Defense Minister herself publicly acknowledged recently that the military have low wages.
Unfortunately, once again, authorities have taken advantage of the discipline of members of the armed forces to keep them at the tail of public remunerations, totally ignoring their repeated demands. The latest State budget made it possible to give them a few crumbs and nothing more. There is no political will or even a little respect by supposedly highly valued professionals.
Tired of this endless unfair situation for themselves and their families, the main professional associations (ASFASPRO, AUME and ATME) decided that a demonstration in Madrid was the next step to claim loud the Right to perceive an adequate salary to their professional performance. A professional armed forces can no longer only compensate their soldiers only with some honorific pins and beads.
Professional respect begins with adequate compensation. Members of the Spainsh Armed Forces are unable to pay their electricity bills and provide adequately for their children – this cannot continue.
Speaking on this issue, EUROMIL President Emmanuel Jacob stated
“As in many European countries, military personnel are deployed in Spain to perform various tasks. As military personnel, we realise that it is in the public interest not only to protect but also to assist society, our nations and its peoples when necessity compels us to do so. However, this deployment of defense personnel also requires respect and an obligation for compensation and social protection on the part of the competent authorities. The unconditional deployment of military personnel in Spain and elsewhere in Europe has limits. Correct social protection, good working conditions and correct compensation are an absolute must.
That is why EUROMIL is supporting its member association AUME and its Spanish partner organizations on the occasion of their demonstration on 16 October. The Spanish Government must realize that proper consultation with the representatives of the defense personnel is more than urgently needed in this matter! No one benefits from a military whose primary wealth, namely the human factor, cannot count on proper recognition for its efforts.”
For more information please contact AUME.