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Military conscription to be suspended in July

The Local · 23 Nov 2010, 08:04

Published: 23 Nov 2010 08:04 GMT+01:00

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Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg also confirmed he wants to slash the 250,000-strong military to between 180,000-185,000 to cut spending and meet 21st century security threats more effectively.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, flanking Guttenberg at a military event in Dresden, said that the restructuring could "be a symbol of the readiness to change and the need to change in our country."

Germany is one of the few NATO countries to retain the draft, and it remains popular, with 51 percent of voters wanting it to continue, according to an opinion poll published in July.

Introduced after World War II, it was aimed at ensuring that the military never again became an elitist force with its own political power. The government plans to keep conscription in the constitution but to suspend it.

Merkel's government is scheduled to formally approve the suspension in December, as part of government goal to cut public spending by about €80 billion by 2014.

Story continues below…

Merkel also used the event in the east of the country to talk about reforms to the NATO military alliance agreed at a Lisbon summit, also attended by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, at the weekend.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:56 November 23, 2010 by mixxim
The British Army rejoiced at not having to find employment for unfit and unwilling conscripts.
13:44 November 23, 2010 by WibbleFishBanana
I would now be concerned about the mass of young adults that no longer have the opportunity to learn a little self discipline and respect. The UK government abolished conscription into H.M. Forces and is now paying the price with a huge wave of selfish generations.
19:05 November 23, 2010 by Gretl
mixxim - The US armed forces also improved when it became a professional force, rather than an alternative to jail (gaol) time. The only down side the military has had is now 50% of the soldiers/sailors are married with families, so there are less living in barracks and eating in the dining facilities, more living in base housing, increased healthcare costs, and higher pay demanded based on supporting a family instead of a young single adult.
03:40 November 24, 2010 by belladons
Great decision Germany. God I love Germany.
21:28 November 24, 2010 by tianju
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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