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NEWS BRIEFS

Army aims to lure professionals

THE SLOVAK Army is fighting to attract young recruits. Following an initial campaign worth Sk9 million (€231,360) to swell its volunteer ranks, the army plans to invest hundreds of thousands more, the daily Hospodárske noviny reported.

To lure young professionals into the military, the Slovak Army is advertising adventure and a relatively attractive wage.

A soldier's salary starts at Sk15,380 (€395) per month, which is approximately Slovakia's average wage. Soldiers also receive housing contributions, holiday pay and free health care. To motivate quality specialists to leave civilian life, the army sometimes offers sign-on bonuses worth Sk300,000 (€7,712).

"We have to behave as a commercial company otherwise we have no chance [to succeed] on the labour market," Maroš Kemény, the head of the Defence Ministry's communications department, told the daily.

The Slovak Army currently has around 20,000 soldiers, 90 percent of which are volunteer professionals. The army indicates that it has the hardest time attracting drivers and doctors for army hospitals.

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