Eliminate mandatory military service, European Commission says
The draft of the European Commission says that rather than cut more spending in national defense, Greece should abolish its compulsory military service. It is perhaps the only subject in the provisions of the loan agreement and the memoranda that might meet with the agreement of the left wing parties.
In the chapter “cuts and review of defense spending,” EC officials write: “The reductions in military equipment amount to about 340 million euros in 2013-2014 and come in addition to earlier cuts ιn military supplies. Other measures include a reduction in operational costs through closing camps and by accepting fewer cadets into military academies. It is also expected that about 400 million euros will be saved, an amount equivalent to 0.2% of Greece’s GDP.”
The text then states that the geopolitical peculiarities of Greece have led to a very large expenditure on defense. According to Eurostat data, defense spending was at 5.4% of the GDP in 1994, 4% in 2000 and 3.9% in 2009. In 2010, it reached 2.2% of the GDP and in 2012 Greece ranked third among the 27 EU partners in terms of total defense spending.
Despite the fact that, according to the Commission, military operational expenses and salaries with pensions for members of the armed forces are expected to be reduced by 62% and 41% respectively (expenditure on salaries and pensions), “this does not mean that there cannot be any further rationalization of defense spending.”
And they reach the conclusion that in order to further reduce defense spending, Greece is “required to increase its use of electronic procurements and eliminate mandatory military service.”
National Defence ministry: Military service will remain mandatory
“Military service is and will remain mandatory. The Greek government has never discussed and will not change the current status”, a close associate of National Defence minister Panos Panagiotopoulos said.
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Source:: Defense Greece (Air)