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Parliamentary questions
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15 October 2020
Question for written answer E-005627/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (NI), Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Potentially excessive costs for military equipment in Spain amid the COVID-19 pandemic

In December 2019, the Spanish Ministry of Defence abandoned a call for tender for 348 armoured tanks after the only company that submitted a bid, Santa Bárbara Sistemas (owned by the American company General Dynamics European Land Systems), failed to meet the requirements. However, as if by magic, the same EUR 2.1 billion bid from the same company was accepted eight months later. The newspaper El País said that pressure from the military seemed to have changed the government’s opinion(1).

Meanwhile, according to the Bank of Spain, Spain’s GDP is expected to fall by 12.6 % due to the pandemic, and its public debt is set to increase to almost 120 % of GDP. Even before these predictions, the Commission noted that public debt stock remains too high, posing significant risks for fiscal sustainability in the medium and long term.

1. Does the Commission have any knowledge of these anomalies in the aforementioned contract?

2. Will it seek clarification from the Spanish Government about this matter, in case there has been a breach of EU law on public contracts?

3. Does the Commission think that Spain’s spending EUR 2.1 billion on military equipment, in the middle of the pandemic, is compatible with its views as expressed in the last European Semester?

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