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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas to “STO KOKKINO” Radio Station

The Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas while interviewed on Tuesday 12 March 2019 at “STO KOKKINO” 105.5 radio station by the journalist Kostas Alatzas, mentioned among others the following:

About the HMoND bill which is under deliberation:

The bill regulating personnel issues for the Armed Forces is currently under deliberation. It also regulates other issues pertaining to military service and of course issues of alternative service. In particular, it stipulates the decrease of service for all children of large families whenever they may serve and not just for the first-born, as was the status up till now. All boys coming from families with five children will serve for six months, while children from families with three and four siblings will serve for eight months. Regarding the alternative service we conform to the European directives, and rightly so. The service is decreased from 15 to 12 months for all conscripts. Furthermore, there are regulations for young men who have recently been abroad and have not served in the army yet, thus being declared draft dodgers. This bill resolves many preexisting problems.

About the government being rushed from abroad to quickly proceed to parliamentary elections:

There is no rush. It is clear that elections will be conducted in October. The government is currently focused on completing pending issues. Numerous bills regarding society. Mr Mitsotakis does not comprehend this. Furthermore, dazed by the problem of the New Democracy party’s strategy, he claims that every positive aspect in economy is achieved thanks to the advent of the New Democracy party. We will hear a lot of claims in the immediate future but what matters is that we remain focused on what we wish to achieve.

About New Democracy party’s claims regarding pre-election personnel intake:

The New Democracy party must publicly and clearly declare that it was against the increase of the minimum wage and the abolition of the sub-minimum wage. It was against the establishment of a positive climate for families with all that was offered and I am not talking just about benefits, but about support on a series of important issues, like the first child, the issue of the primary residence, the housing benefit etc. Regarding personnel intake, it is what we had said that is currently required by the public sector and mainly by the social part of the public sector, meaning hospitals, health services, education and a part of Local Self-government Organisations. We are now doing what we had earlier declared. This has nothing to do with the pre-election campaign. We are now able to do all that, after the successful completion of all the conducted efforts to rid the country of the memoranda and fiscal surveillance. We have said many times that the choices we make in the post-memoranda period will bear a qualitative difference. They will focus on making people see the improvement of the country’s financial condition, on their daily lives.