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Defence ministry plans to close ‘draft dodge’ loopholes with new bill

Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides on Sunday

Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides said on Sunday that a bill would be presented to the new parliament that would close any loopholes that allowed youngsters to draft dodge in the past.

The minister was speaking at an event in Emba, Paphos. He did not elaborate. It has been estimated in the past that around 20 per cent of conscripts avoid the army on various grounds, mainly psychological.

In his speech, Fokaides spoke of the reduction in military service to 14 months and said his ministry wanted to create conditions in army that would ensure conscripts had a useful and productive service.

“We want to stop the phenomenon and the trends of previous years that led a percentage of our young people to dodge the draft,” he said. “At the same time we will send a bill to the new parliament that closes the possibilities that existed in the past allowing people to evade liability for military service.”

Positive incentives, along with the reduction in military service, include further education programmes, vocational training, and new sports and fitness programmes including martial arts.

The army is also introducing a First Aid course where conscripts can receive a diploma.

Fokaides said there had been a great response by conscripts to the new programmes.

 

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