From the EU Covid Recovery Fund 30 billion goes to the military
by Manlio Dinucci
While the “Coronavirus crisis” continues to cause devastating socio-economic consequences also in Italy, a large part of the “Recovery Fund” is destined not to the most affected economic and social sectors, but to the most advanced sectors of the war industry.
According to the EU Recovery Fund, Italy should receive € 209 billion over the next six years, of which about 81 is for grants and 128 for loans to be repaid with interest. In the meantime, the Defense and Economic Development Ministries have presented a list of military projects for an amount of approximately 30 billion euros (Defense Analysis, from the Recovery Fund financing also for Defense, 09-25-2020).
The projects of the Ministry of Defense could spend 5 billion euros of the Recovery Fund for military applications in the sectors of cybernetics, communications, space and artificial intelligence. The projects relating to the military use of 5G are significant, particularly in space with a 36 satellites constellation and others.
The projects of the Ministry of Economic Development, mainly relating to the military aerospace area, foresee an expenditure of 25 billion euros from the Recovery Fund. After the F-35 fifth generation, the Ministry intends to invest in a sixth-generation fighter, the Tempest, called “the plane of the future.”
Other investments concern the production of new generation military helicopters / tiltrotors, capable of vertical take off and landing, and flying at high speed. At the same time, the Ministry will invest in next-generation drones and naval units, and advanced underwater technologies. Large investments are also expected in the space and satellite technology field.
Several of these technologies, including 5G communication systems, will be for military and civilian dual use. Since some of the military projects presented by the two departments overlap, the Ministry of Economic Development has drawn up a new list that makes it possible to reduce its spending to 12.5 billion euros.
However, the fact remains that there are plans to spend between 17.5 and 30 billion euros drawn from the Recovery Fund for military purposes, which must be repaid with interest.
In addition to these expenses, more than 35 billion is allocated for military purposes by Italian governments for the period 2017-2034, largely in the budget of the Ministry of Economic Development.
These expenses are added to the budget of the Ministry of Defense, bringing Italian military spending to over 26 billion per year, equivalent to an average of over 70 million euros per day, in public money subtracted from social expenses. A figure Italy is engaged to with NATO, as requested by the United States, to increase to an average of about 100 million euros per day. The allocation for this purpose of a large part of the Recovery Fund will allow Italy to reach this level.
Among the military industries, in the front row pressing the government to increase the military share of the Recovery Fund, is Leonardo Ltd, whose 30% shareholding is owned by the Ministry of Economic Development.
The Leonardo group is integrated in the gigantic US military-industrial complex headed by Lockheed Martin, builder of the F-35 whose production Leonardo himself participates in with the factory in Cameri. Leonardo defines itself as a “global player in Aerospace, Defense and Security,” with the mission of “protecting citizens.”
This demonstrates what the company intends to do by using its influence and power to steal vital resources from citizens, and from the “Recovery Fund,” for a further acceleration in the “recovery” of the war industry – resources that we will always pay for, increased by interest. In this way we will be paying for “the plane of the future,” which will protect us and ensure a future of wars.
(the manifesto, 13 October 2020)