NEWS

European Union counterparts have an easier time

Greek conscripts are paid the lowest amount of compensation in the European Union. The 8.80 euros paid monthly is about the same as that paid daily to their counterparts in Sweden. Elsewhere, the best-paid conscripts are the Danes and Finns. Just above the Greeks on the allowance scale are the Slovaks, the Czechs, Hungarians, Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians. Compulsory military service has been abolished in many EU member states (Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Malta, Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia) where there are fully professional armies. As of 2005, it will be abolished in Hungary (where conscripts receive 20 euros per month) and the Czech Republic (where conscripts receive about 20 euros and serve for one year). In Slovakia, military service – to be abolished in 2006 – lasts six months and soldiers are paid the equivalent of 10.40 euros. In Latvia, where conscripts receive about 30.08 euros monthly over a year, compulsory service ends in 2007. Austria: service lasts eight months, one of which is on border duty. Monthly allowance is 245.70 euros. Germany: Conscripts are called up before the age of 24 to serve for nine months. From the first to third months, they receive 222.30 euros, the fourth to sixth months 245.40 eros and the remaining three months 268.50 euros. Denmark: Conscripts are called up by ballot and serve for four to 12 months, according to the service. Those serving four months are paid the equivalent of 608 euros per month, although 40 percent of it is paid back in taxes. Conscripts also receive another 12.84 euros in tax-free «pocket money» for every day they serve. Those serving longer terms receive the equivalent of 1,793.24 euros monthly from the fourth month, which is also taxed in the same way. Estonia: Depending on the service and the conscript’s specialization, term of duty lasts eight to 11 months. During basic training, conscripts receive 10 euros per month and 10-16 euros, with a specialization. Those who serve 11 months receive 41-64 euros per month as of the eighth month. Cyprus: Conscripts here serve the longest terms in the EU, lasting 25 months (eight at the ceasefire line) and are called up right after completing high school. Conscripts receive payment of 60 Cypriot pounds (about 103 euros), and reserve officers 100 pounds (about 173 euros) a month. Lithuania: Military service lasts a year and soldiers are paid the equivalent of 25.4 euros per month. Poland: Military service lasts 11 months and conscripts are paid on average the equivalent of 154 euros per month, which is taxed. Sweden: Service is compulsory for men and optional for women. Youths can choose between the military and two alternative forms of service. Military service lasts from 7.5 to 17. 5 months, depending on specialization, but on average is about 10 months. Conscripts receive the equivalent of 7.25 euros per day (about 218 euros per month), and upon completion of service get a «study bonus» of about 7.25 euros for every day of service. So for 10 months of service, there is a «gift» of 2,100 euros. The State also provides extra amounts for those who have their own businesses or who pay rent. Finland: Military service is compulsory for men and optional for women and, according to specialization, lasts 180, 270 or 362 days. The first receive 3.60 euros per day, the second 5.75 and the third 8.25.