Despite big cutbacks in defense spending during Greece’s crushing economic crisis, “Military Service is and will remain mandatory,” National Defence Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos said in answer to a recommendation from the European Commission that, “Greece should abolish its compulsory military service in order not to spend so much money for defense services.”
European officials wrote that “The reductions in military equipment amounts to about 340 million euros in 2013-2014 and come in addition to earlier cuts on military supplies. Other measures include a reduction in operational costs through closing camps and by accepting fewer cadets into military academies. It is also expected that about 400 million euros will be saved, an amount equivalent to 0.2% of Greece’s GDP,” by ending military service for all, except those who have escaped through political connections.
The suggestion is included in an official text of the European Commission in the chapter Cuts and Review of Defense Spending. Greek military officials have already complained about a drop in morale because of salary cuts for officers and the enlisted ranks.