Greek students outraged as mandatory military service looks to be extended

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Greek students have expressed their dissatisfaction at the governments decision to extend the mandatory military national service from 9 to 12 months, EURACTIV Greece reports.  

According to the Greek news outlet, authorities in Athens are planning for the new law to be rolled out in May, affecting everyone except for those who will serve in the borders with Turkey.

According to a source, the decision was made in order to strengthen the military presence at the borders between Greece and Turkey and to avoid conscripts seeking to be transferred to the capital city.

“It’s a barrier for students and young workers that live abroad and wish to return to Greece. How is this decision supposed to reverse brain drain?” Konstantinos Vogiatzoglou, a post-graduate student at Wageningen University, told EURACTIV.gr.

Photo: EPA/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU

He added that “Greek youth has nothing to win from this experience”. 

In Greece, the unemployment rate of young people up to 24 years old jumped to an alarming 33% last September, according to Greek statistics office data.The figure is expected to rise further due to the pandemic and the country’s debt is projected to reach 200% of GDP.

Fanis Friderikos, a post-graduate student at King’s College University, is mostly concerned about mass unemployment and believes that “it was the worst possible timing for the government to announce such a decision”.

According to Fanis, “now, young men have to cope with an extra unnecessary burden that can put on hold their future plans”. 

Few other EU countries (Cyprus, Austria, Finland, Denmark) still have a mandatory military service in place.

Sourced By: EURACTIV Greece

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