More foreigners can join armed forces

3rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 November 2004, MADRID - The quota of foreigners who are allowed to join the Spanish armed forces is to be increased, the defence minister said on Wednesday.

3 November 2004

MADRID - The quota of foreigners who are allowed to join the Spanish armed forces is to be increased, the defence minister said on Wednesday.

José Bono announced the number of foreigners in the army, navy or air force will rise from 2 percent to 7 percent.

Bono told the Spanish parliament that there are were currently 1,050 foreigners in the paratroops and marine regiments.

But he said he believed it was "reasonable" to raise this number to seven percent because this was the number of foreigners who made up the population of Spain.

Spain's population of nearly 43 million includes 1.6m foreigners, though there are thought to be many more who are not registered with the authorities.

But only Hispanics or citizens from Equatorial Guinea, which was a former Spanish colony, can join the armed forces.

The only units which they can join are the paratroops or marines.

Bono added that army chiefs were "very satisfied" with the level of service from foreign troops, which showed their determination to carry on contributing to their integration in Spain.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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