The Movement  stands by the young men who fulfil  their military service  because the country needs this and it is required by law. We share their feelings of  dismay   when they  see their  friends, classmates and many others being  exempt  with incredible ease and for ridiculous reasons, from their  legal and moral obligation to serve the state.

This flagrant injustice against conscript soldiers and mockery by the state must stop immediately. A lawful state must be characterized by fairness and egalitarianism among all the citizens.

The size of the problem

We are aware of the oversimplified  process followed when someone decides to avoid serving  citing psychological problems. It is ironic that the state has managed to render the discharge from the army , the most efficient process that exists in the state apparatus.

To understand the size of the fraud that is taking place occurs, we report that the Ministry in a communication exercise has reviewed about 80 athletes who applied for and got an exemption. Sixty out of  these,  ie about 75%, were found to be able to  serve and were asked to return to the national Guard. Assuming that this is a representative sample, we can say that for every 1000 soldiers who are discharged  each year with psychological problems,  750 are actually fake. In the last five years, according to rough calculations by the military authorities  about 10,000 young men have refused to serve. Of these approximately 7,500 used false excuses.

Historical injustice

The injustice and discrimination that occurs here does not just relate to the two years of service. The negative effects unfortunately affect those who serve for two years developmentally throughout their lives:

1. Those who  dont serve are  in the third year of their studies by the time the soldiers are released and enter university in the first year .
2. The abscondees  will have priority of many years (not just two) in the lists of government appointments  when depositing their diploma.
3.The abscondees  will always have at least two years of service and experience more, and two additional years of pensionable earnings.
4. Even if they are self-employedthose who served  will be two years behind and will also serve  4-5 days a year in the reserves until they are 50..
5. The worst part is that in case of a  conflict those who have served will have to fight and defend with their lives, the abscondees who will stay behind with the women and children.



Proposed solution

The Ministry of Defence has been unable to address  the issue quickly, effectively and decisively. The bill for the National Guard, which is still being pending has been delayed unduly and unreasonably. Prima facie it appears to give the Minister of Defense the power necessary to  address the phenomenon and also to bring back those who absconded  without reason.

Immediately after the passage of the bill by the House, the Defense Minister should act quickly, effectively and decisively, giving a clear signal that the criteria which determine  who is fit or completely unfit to serve, have changed irrevocably. It is no longer acceptable for young men who can otherwise study and work in the public or private sector not to be able to serve at least some kind of adjusted military service.

On the same basis, the Minister of Defence is expected that immediately after the passage of the bill will call for review, all those  who have secured exemption for health reasons, and will require those who are able to serve at least a modified type of military service.

Other Measures

 In addition to the above, other effective measures to reduce the number of abscondees by  reducing  the desire of young people to avoid serving which is the basis of the problem would be:

1. The  reduction of duration of the military service , which of course can only be achieved if we first eradicate  the phenomenon of service avoidance.

2. The possible postponement  of the military service in some cases, as is done in Greece, because for various reasons, many young people do not feel ready to serve in the National Guard at 18, but after a few years they may be more mature.

3. The creation of voluntary service positions  in the National Guard for  women (6 - 12 months) who would be given special distinction by the state after their service.

4. The upgrading and modernization of the technical facilities and educational programs for the National Guard both to help reduce the service duration and to make  the service a useful experience and important factor in shaping the character of our young people rather than  a heavy burden.

These are the main incentives that will encourage our future  soldiers to want to serve in the National Guard.

Action by the Movement against National Guard abstention

 The Movement is asking for the support of people who demonstrate responsibility, solidarity and respect for their fellow citizens and laws. Those who place themselves above others and avoid their obligation to serve their military service may not hold office in our movement .

With this direct action and regardless of political cost, we side against abstention  and will support for parliament only candidates who have served their military service. We also maintain that abscondees  should not be engaged in government or  semi-government organizations.

In addition,  those seeking relief from their military sevice for psychological reasons, should not be allowed to have a drivers licence for 10 years and should be monitored during this time by psychiatrists.

 We challenge the political parties to adopt these measures to prove that they place  the collective interests of citizens and respect for the law above all. We are confident that the mere adoption of the above will solve the problem of military service abstention to a large extent immediately.