SPAIN spent the 16th largest amount on defence of any country in the world last year at almost €16.4 billion, according to new research from a think tank.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found Spain’s defence spending fell by 5.2 per cent between 2008 and 2018.
Spain bucked a global rise, with global defence spending now 76 per cent higher than it was in 1998.
Jordi Calvo, of the Spain-based Delas Centre for Peace Studies, said global figures showed that a Cold War-style arms race was developing.
Global military spending stood at more than €1.6 trillion in 2018, equivalent to 2.1 per cent of the world’s economic output (GDP) or more than €214 per person.
The five countries with the largest military budgets in 2018 were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France. Their spending accounted for about 60 per cent of the global total.
Calvo said the Spanish state’s spending on military equipment was helping to prop up a military industrial complex, or mutual link between the government and the arms industry.
Spain’s dealings with Saudi Arabia in particular were fuelling violence in the ongoing Yemen Civil War which the UN said had spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.