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Cyprus

Fairer treatment is curbing draft dodging, says minister

By Evie Andreou

THE NEW measures introduced and implemented last year against nepotism and promoting equal treatment in the army have led to a decrease in draft dodging, the Defence Minister Christophoros Fokaides said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference to announce this year’s call up for new army recruits, Fokaides said that even though it was still too early to draw safe conclusions, last year’s data compared to the previous two years indicated a decrease in draft dodgers.

“It is my belief that an imbedded sense of meritocracy will curb the galloping trend of draft dodging of the previous years,” Fokaides said.

The reform measures introduced last year include new selection procedures for posting soldiers, limiting the powers of the minister to decide on military issues without specific criteria and the written submission of all requests.

The call up concerns all those born between January 1 1997 and December 31 1997 who must appear at their designated recruitment centres between July 3 and 10.

As regards to the assignment of recruits to their regiments after basic training at the boot camps, he said that increased measures have been taken to avoid possible interference.

He said that to promote equality between conscripts, those serving more than 80 kilometres away from home will now be entitled to an additional day of leave per month.

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