The Cabinet on Friday approved R&D guidelines that will “constitute the core of science and technology in Spain, its backbone,” in the words of Economy Minister Luis de Guindos. In two plans for the periods 2013-2016 and 2013-2020, the government said spending on R&D should reach two percent of GDP by 2020. However, an earlier 2008-2012 plan had already set the goal of two percent for last year, meaning the target has in fact been postponed for a almost decade.
Science associations described the guidelines as too vague and said they contradict the reality to be found in Spain. Carlos Andradas, president of the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain, told Efe news agency that public research centers and universities are “at their limit” and that the government has been cutting back on science spending in the state budget while announcing this two-percent target.