Defense Minister Margarita Robles has appeared to detail the axes of her Department for this legislature and explain the role played by the Armed Forces in the fight against the coronavirus in the ´Balmis´ operation, whose sole objective has been to "contribute save lives and help citizens.
"In an appearance before the Defense Commission, which began with a minute of silence in memory of those who died from the coronavirus, the minister wanted her first words to be "condolence and support" to the relatives and close friends of those close to 28,000 deaths by Covid in our country.Robles has assured that "When only one of our compatriots dies or suffers, we all die or suffer with them." In addition, he has expressed his solidarity with those who have continued to work on the front lines in recent weeks, such as health workers and the security forces, but also workers in supermarkets, pharmacies or transporters, among many others.
And especially towards the Armed Forces.
Robles has stressed in his appearance that "defense policy is a State policy", apart from "parliamentary disputes", and stressing that "our Armed Forces do not belong to one or another political group or party, but to the whole of society Spanish and with that respect they should be treated.
"For the minister, the objectives of the defense policy are:Having modern and professional Armed Forces, prepared and adapted to the times; with the best men and womenReinforce self-defense capacity with the necessary capacities to do soStrengthen Spain's position in the international security system, contributing to the fight against international terrorism and enhancing defense diplomacy as a means of generating confidence in our partners.Bet on promoting culture and defense awareness in Spanish society, so that citizens feel proud of their Armed Forces"We have to make a clear commitment to the Spanish defense industry, which is a driving force within the industry of Europe," said the minister, for whom the "revitalization of the defense industry" is "essential".
It has also set as one of the priorities of its department the commitment to innovation, science and technology applied to the Armed Forces.The minister insisted that Spain's position in the international security system must be strengthened, because it cannot be foreign "to what happens a few thousand kilometers", where she recalled that there are currently more than 25 armed conflicts in the world ."Every time there is a violation of human rights somewhere, every time there is a war, Spain cannot and should not put itself in profile," he assured to remember the nearly 190 military personnel who died in peacekeeping missions.For his part, and within the personnel policy, Robles has highlighted his commitment to equality and conciliation measures and to provide training to the military who have to leave the Army at the age of 45, at the end of their commitment and rejoin civil life.
"We do not want anyone to leave the Armed Forces without a professional intermediate grade degree," he said.Operation 'Balmis'"Contributing to save lives has been the sole objective of Operation Balmis and the Armed Forces in this specific crisis," the minister insisted.
The possible errors made in this operation "are exclusively mine", all "the successes are of the Armed Forces", its men and women will occupy "a golden page" when the history of this health crisis is written.For this, Robles has reiterated his infinite gratitude to all the men and women of the Armed Forces who have participated in this operation to fight the coronavirus, without attending at any time to partisan positions, acting "without political color", "without asking how, when or who, the essential objective was not to do politics with it.
"The military have carried out in these two months almost 20,000 performances in ´Balmis´ in 2,250 towns, "from big cities to the smallest town." They have transported technical means and personnel, basic necessities, have used sanitary capacities, including field hospitals, and have provided support to the State Security Forces and Corps.60% of these actions have been disinfection of nursing homes, where COVID-19 has had a "terrible" effect.
Spain owes "an enormous debt of gratitude" to the older people and therefore has maintained that the country must "reflect" on its situation once the coronavirus crisis is over.
"I say it here in the Senate, we cannot put ourselves in profile," he claimed.In addition, the minister wanted to recall some very emotional moments in the context of the operation, such as when people from the Military Emergency Unit or the Army told her that during the transfer of the deceased, "they had never been left alone" and "they were he had treated me as just another partner, "something I am especially proud of.
"I have said it on several occasions, but I think it is good that this page never forgets.
That their families know it, that they were there."Apart from the specific work in military hospitals, we have proceeded to help the construction of pavilions, such as that of IFEMA or La Fira "field hospitals have been installed in Alcalá de Henares helping Doctors Without Borders, in Segovia and in Sabadell " We also advise on setting up a field hospital in Loeches.
We have also helped by providing campaign material for the Gregorio Marañón, La Paz, 12 de Octubre, Tres Mares, Ramón y Cajal, Alcorcón, Albacete, Getafe, Leganés, Oviedo, León, Puerto de Melilla and Las Palmas hospitals.Regarding the members of the Armed Forces infected by COVID-19, the minister has reported that since the beginning of the pandemic 9,621 have been in quarantine and 682 have tested positive, of which 150 have needed to be hospitalized.
"We also had to repatriate two positives and seven suspected cases, from the Mali operation, but all of them have been repatriated so far, and they are admitted to the" Gómez Ulla "Central Defense Hospital and they are doing well."Lastly, he ended his intervention remembering that "Spain and its people have known how to rise to the occasion, each and every one of the people has complied with the confinement and, to this day, they continue to comply with the rules of the authorities sanitary ".
And he has reiterated his pride towards the Armed Forces that "have written a golden page" in the History of Spain.
"My infinite thanks, my enormous praise and my apologies for what I personally could have failed," he concluded.