No extension of military service, minister says
The military service will not be extended by three months as it had originally been planned, Defence Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos has said.
Speaking on newspaper To Vima, Panagiotopoulos said that “our youth has in recent years suffered so much, that we cannot burden them with an extra three months of military service”.
Currently, the length of national service is nine months. Its extension was among the issues raised ahead of the national elections in May and June, but it was decided that the new government would be responsible for making a decision and bearing the cost of it.
However, the coalition government has decided not to go ahead with the extension. The decision was largely due to the economic recession, as the extension of the compulsory service to twelve months would significantly increase public spending.
Greece is the only country in the European Union which still has a system of compulsory military service. Other EU countries such as Austria, Denmark and Cyprus have conscription but allow alternative services, in place of military service to be performed as part of national service.