Germany debates return of national service amid serious military shortages
There were calls for a referendum in Germany on Monday after Angela Merkelâs chosen successor said she was ready to consider the return of national service.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is widely seen as Mrs Merkelâs designated heir, surprised Germany at the end of last week when she said she was open to âvery intenseâ discussion on the possibility.
A senior regional leader on Monday led calls for a referendum on the issue as opinion polls showed more than 55 per cent of Germans support the reintroduction of conscription.
But a spokesman for Mrs Merkelâs government on Monday made clear that a return to compulsory military service is out of the question.
Instead calls are mounting for a scheme under which young people could choose between a yearâs military service or some form of social service.
Germany ended conscription in 2011 in favour of a professional army but has been struggling to recruit troops in recent years.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, who became chairman of Mrs Merkelâs Christian Democrat party (CDU) earlier this year, unexpectedly reopened the debate last week when she said it was the number one issue she was asked about on a recent âlistening tourâ of local party organisations.Source: Google News Germany | Netizen 24 Germany