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Op-Ed: Greece to propose increasing mandatory military service

By Katerina Nikolas     Jul 14, 2012 in World
Athens - Mandatory military service in Greece may be extended from nine to 12 months, in an effort to reduce government expenditure on professional soldiers.
As the newly elected Greek government scurries round in search of cost-cutting measures to placate its' Troika of creditors, due to arrive in Athens on July 24, a host of new proposals are being banded around. One of their latest ideas is to extend mandatory military service for all males between 19 and 45.
The proposal is one of several to be put before the Troika for approval, in an effort to cut costs without raising new taxes. According to Ta Nea the idea was first considered by the Papandreou government as a way of reducing the cost of hiring professional soldiers. With youth unemployment currently at 50 percent, the proposal would at least ensure that those forced to join the military would be housed, fed and provided with medical aid and an income, for a year.
However, as Digital Journal has previously reported, one massive way to slash Greek expenditure would be to curtail the unnecessary purchase of German, French and American armaments, which it has been pressured to buy using bail-out loans. Greece remains the second largest importer of German weapons, after Turkey, and spends more on defense spending as a percentage of GDP than any other European country.
Whilst Greece's military spending spree finally had the brakes put on last year, the Set Times quotes defence specialist Patrick Theros who said "Greece can manage a 10-15% cut in military spending if France and Germany allow Greece to cancel contracts lucrative to those countries, shift procurement to domestic manufacturers, and renovate existing frigates."
If the immunity from prosecution which Greek politicians enjoy was removed, then government ministers already implicated in accepting millions of euros in bribes in exchange for German contracts could be prosecuted and the companies involved forced to pay fines into the Greek coffers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about mandatory military service, Greek crisis, greek austerity, Patrick Theros, greek weapons
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