(ANSAMed) - MADRID, JULY 17 - As part of its austerity plan, Spain will withdraw up to 50% of troops deployed in UNIFIL, the UN peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, Defense Minister Pedro Morenes told Congress today. There are currently approximately 800 Spanish personnel deployed in UNIFIL, and last year they cost the state 196 million euros. Spain's presence in Lebanon was decided by the previous Zapatero administration, beginning in 2006, and has since cost Spain 1 billion euros. The decision was taken in agreement with France and Italy, the other two countries who have a strong troop presence in UNIFIL, which has deployed a total of 12,000 soldiers in Lebanon, the minister said. (ANSAMed).