With President Donald Trump attending the NATO summit in Brussels today – and expected to “press members to pay their full financial share” (ie 2% of GDP), Portugal’s defence minister Azeredo Lopes has been explaining why Portugal is unlikely to bend.
Talking to TSF radio, Lopes said that Portugal’s contribution to the alliance is actually “quite a lot more than a number of other member states” and that the country should be “realistic” and not make “grand promises in relation to defence spending”.
How talks go will transpire by the end of the day which is set to see a number of protests, not only over the presence of President Trump and all that he stands for, but over the need for NATO at all.
TSF has carried an interview with a Belgian NGO that is not only pushing for Belgium to leave the alliance, but for NATO’s complete dismantlement.
Here too, government allies like the PCP communists and Bloco de Esquerda are notoriously ‘anti-NATO’.
As for Portugal’s annual contributions, the station says these stand at 1.2% of GDP.
The world’s media is bristling to get a whiff of what comes out of these talks, particularly as President Trump has made inflammatory comments about NATO in the past.
Before being elected he actually described the alliance forged to offer members ‘mutual support in response to an attack from any external party’ “obsolete”.
He has since tweeted that NATO “is no longer obsolete”, but has made no secret of his determination to see other countries ‘pulling their weight’ and relieving the US of some of its financial responsibility, which currently amounts to 3.61% of GDP.