Pensions hope for plane crash families

26th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2003, MADRID - The Spanish government said Wednesday it would consider extra pensions for the unmarried partners of soldiers killed in one of Spain's worst peace-time military disasters.

26 November 2003

MADRID - The Spanish government said Wednesday it would consider extra pensions for the unmarried partners of soldiers killed in one of Spain's worst peace-time military disasters.

Sixty-two Spanish servicemen and 13 Ukranian crew died when their plane crashed near the north-western Turkish town of Trabzon on their way back from a Nato peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan in May.

The disaster provoked a diplomatic row after Spain threatened to sue Nato to help pay compensation to the families of the victims.

The Ukrainian Yak-42 plane hit a mountain near the Black Sea town after the pilot apparently tried to land in fog in order to refuel.

The aircraft was flying from the Kyrgyz city of Bishkek to Zaragoza in Spain.

Spanish soldiers are said to have criticised the state of some of the chartered aircraft.

Under Spanish law, the wives or close families are entitled to pensions but unmarried partners are not.

The Spanish Defence Minister, Frederico Trillo, said he would not rule out giving an extra pensions to the unmarried partners of the soldiers who were killed.

But he said if extra cash was granted it could create a precedent as professional military staff live with the daily risk of being killed while on duty.

Trillo told the Spanish parliament: "Maybe this should lead to a wider reconsideration of the problem."

The minister was responding to questions from Juan Jose Laborda, a member of the left-wing PSOE party, who asked for a solution to the problem. Laborda pressed the minister for extra pensions for the unmarried partners and dependents, adding: "there are norms in order to give exceptional pensions".

Laborda cited the example of a law which led to an exceptional pension to the widow of a doctor killed by ETA terrorists. But he admitted that this was a different situation from the deaths of the soldiers.

Trillo said pensions were being considered for 129 dependents of the soldiers who died. Of these, 37 were widows, 59 orphans and 33 parents of the soldiers.

In three cases, pensions were not granted to the parents of unmarried soldiers because the relatives' incomes exceeded a fixed limit. Five other cases have not been resolved.

[Copright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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