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One picture per month, 14 November 2011

90% of young Greek men try to postpone their compulsory military service. I delayed the service to go to university. Back in 1997, the duration of the military service was 18 months. For me, and I suspect for a lot of others, there was a secret hope that it would be reduced or abolished by the time I had to go. In 2007, I served for 12 months.

I love my country and going to the army was a unique experience. Although, there is something unnatural about being forced by law to do something you wouldn’t do otherwise.

In 2008, the then government reduced the service to 9 months and the young male population of Greece was overjoyed.

Under the general austerity measures, the George Papandreou government had to stop hiring professional soldiers and even start firing the ones that have completed their minimum seven years service. As a result, the military bases across Greece are now lacking men, a problem that can only be resolved by increasing the compulsory military service for male civilians. From 2012 the service will increase from 9 to 12 months.

The picture was taken during leisure activities in the training centre where I spent the first two months of my service.

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Back to 12 months

14 November 2011 ← back to One picture per month

Yiannis Katsaris