NEWS

Mandatory conscript age limit?

Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis has suggested that he may rekindle efforts to make it compulsory for all Greek men to do their military service when they reach the age of 18. Meimarakis suggested during a visit to Avlonas army camp on Easter Sunday that if performing military service is compulsory, the age at which it is performed should also be non-negotiable. Currently, Greek teen-agers can obtain permission to delay the start of their service based on family, psychological, health or education grounds. It is fairly common for teens to be allowed to finish their studies before having to serve in the military. A small percentage is also excused completely on medical grounds. The basic military service in the army is 12 months, which is down from 18 months earlier this decade. Meimarakis said he would discuss the issue with the youth organizations of the political parties. The idea of compulsory conscription at 18 was raised by New Democracy four years ago but discussions led nowhere.