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Guttenberg blasted by predecessor Jung

The Local · 7 Jun 2010, 08:33

Published: 07 Jun 2010 08:33 GMT+02:00

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Jung told the Monday edition of daily Frankfurter Rundschau that “there is disorientation” in the deliberations over cutting the program, which would save an estimated €400 million a year.

Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, eager to make his contribution to the massive budget cuts the government needs to make in order to rescue the nation’s overstretched finances, is said to be considering ending the program.

But Jung told the paper that compulsory military service was a fundamental principle of the conservative parties – to which both men belong – because it ensured a connection between the military and broader society.

“I have always come out clearly and unequivocally for national service, and that still applies,” Jung said.

Jung was defence minister from 2005 until 2009, before being shifted to the labour and social affairs portfolio. He resigned from that job after just one month following allegations he had misled the nation over the possibility of civilian casualties in the Kunduz airstrike in Afghanistan.

Jung, who remains a member of the Bundestag, said he saw “a bit of discouragement in the party.”

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“The buzz, the engagement for the CDU has in part been lost. That’s up to the government as a whole,” he said, adding that the government’s future fortunes depended on “how the savings program discussions are led.”

The issue of national service reform, he said, was an example of how political principles could not be forsaken in the discussion of cutbacks.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:26 June 7, 2010 by pepsionice
The cuts basically put them in comparison with Norway or Sweden. France and the UK will be bulked up and very strong.
13:55 June 7, 2010 by whatzup
Germany has always relied on the US for its defense. Doing away with military conscription and thereby trashing Germany's armed services makes sense, ends the charade and saves a whole bunch of money.
20:15 June 7, 2010 by Major B
@whatup_ I surely hope your statement was meant to be sarcastic although I sense you were serious. There is a stong expectation that Germany must do its FAIR share, which has started to happen in the Balkans and in the Hindu Kush. Germany is expected to live more fully up to its responsibility, commensurate with its population size and world economic standing, as it relies on exports more than most nations. Mr Jung is most correct!!!
21:15 June 7, 2010 by hOU
Then it can do its "fair share" as Britain does - w/ young men and women who WANT to go to the frontline.

Guttenberg may be a prize-ass, but there is merit in his proposal, more so than cutting elterngeld et al.
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