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Alternative military service may be cut to 15 months

A proposal to shorten alternative military service, also known as 'civil service', from 24 months to 15 months was included in an amendment to the Civil Service Act submitted to parliament on December 8. Under the current system, conscripts electing to bypass the mandatory 12 months military service must perform the alternative military service.

The two year civil service period is currently the longest in Europe. If basic military service is eventually reduced to nine months, as has been proposed, civil service would then again be shortened to one year. The authors of the amendment hope to see it go into effect by March 2000.

The amendment also widens the circle of organisations where civil service draftees can be posted. Under the proposed changes, companies from the sectors of health care, social services, environment protection and natural disaster clean-ups would be included.

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