NEWS

Military off state of mobilization

Almost 28 years after Greece mobilized to fight Turkey following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the government yesterday decided to end the state of general mobilization in which the armed forces have officially functioned since July 20, 1974. A council of top military officials, chaired by Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, favored abolishing Presidential Decree 506 of 1974, which, in turn, had replaced another decree of April 1946 that placed the military in a state of partial mobilization due to a then-extant state of war with Albania – a result of the 1940 Italian invasion during World War II. This other anachronism was only lifted in the mid-1980s. The main effect of yesterday’s decision will be to transfer the responsibility for decision-making for the requisition of civilian property from local military unit commanders to the minister of defense. Furthermore, it will become easier for former draft-dodgers to break up their military service into shorter sections, and a series of restrictions that currently affect them up to the age of 50 will cease to apply. Senior officers will also no longer have difficulty resigning their commissions.