Spain (quietly) gives up its aircraft carrier

The Spanish Navy has very quietly announced that it has mothballed its only aircraft carrier, the “Principe de Asturias” (pictured), and will sell it for scrap next year, due to budget cutbacks.

The news hasn’t made headlines in Spain, for whatever range of reasons (pick your own). What has made headlines, is the “surprising” fact that the aircraft carrier will be scrapped “up north”, in Ferrol, despite being considered a Cadiz ship.

Principe de Asturias was built in Cadiz, it was based at Rota naval base, and has always been maintained in Cadiz. Indeed, a three million euro refit in 2007 (aimed mainly at the “entertainment facilities” onboard according to El Pais) was completed in Cadiz.

So, why is it being scrapped in Ferrol, the other end of the country?

The main reason appears to be because Rajoy is from Galicia, and Galicia voted pro-PP in the last regional election a couple of months ago. So, now the unions get a nice tasty contract from the State, and the PSOE socialist stronghold in Cadiz gets… nothing.

In fact, the only naval contract currently being carried out in Cadiz is… for the Navy of Mozambique, which has a patrol vessel there for a refit.

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