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COMPULSORY military service could be reduced if suggestions currently being examined by the ministry of defense are adopted.

Defense Minister Costas Papacostas said yesterday the Ministry of Defense is evaluating 12 development plans regarding efforts to update and reorganize the structure of the National Guard. A final plan will be passed on to the Council of Ministers for approval.

The charter, if approved, could affect conscripts who began their military service in 2007. “We intend to examine the matter with great severity,” said Papacostas, “and will not, on any level, put the defense of our country at risk.”

The basis for reduction of military service is to benefit young conscripts but this will not happen at the expense of the National Guard’s defense capacity, Papacostas said.

He said the current research states that defense capacity will increase by 30 to 35 per cent, even with the possible reduction of military term.

“At present,” said Papacostas, “reduced terms of service apply to children from large families, orphans and repatriated Cypriots, it can also be applied in special circumstances to soldiers who come from troubled family backgrounds”.

The charter aims to inform citizens of their rights as well as their obligations to matters relating to the Ministry of Defense.

By Paul Malaos, Cyprus Mail, 10/9/08|||Ministry considering reduction in military service
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