Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Westerwelle urges quick end to conscription

Share this article

Westerwelle urges quick end to conscription
Photo: DPA
08:59 CEST+02:00
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is pushing for a quick end to military service, which he said Wednesday could be scrapped before the next federal election in 2013.

Westerwelle, who is also vice chancellor and head of the pro-business Free Democrats, told daily Hamburger Abendblatt that the recent cut in the length of service from nine to six months was a step in the right direction. But the service should be scrapped with all haste, he said.

“It would be the right decision to stop military service as soon as possible,” he told the paper.

He added that he welcomed Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg's vow to “deal with the question of a voluntary military with a completely open mind.”

Guttenberg is engaged in a thorough review of the armed forces in an effort to dramatically slash military spending, part of which will be a decision on whether – and when – to end conscription. Indeed, Guttenberg has professed a personal preference for abolishing the service on the grounds that a modern military should be entirely professional.

Westerwelle insisted the conscription question was not about budget cuts but about justice.

“It cannot be that only 16 percent of an age group fulfil their military service, while many others can improve their job chances in their own time,” he said.

Young people eligible for service have the option of doing civilian service instead – an option many of them take.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university tackling the challenges of tomorrow

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement