Dendias: Greece will adopt the Finnish army model of skills training and reserves system

Nikos Dendias

Greece will adopt the Finnish model for conscription, with career and reserve training, National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias told Skai FM on Friday.

"Because I personally and the government of [Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis believe in a citizen army - and I must tell you that I think most of Greek society shares this belief - we must reform conscription, turn a 'mandatory service' to an 'opportunity service'. In other words, create trained citizens, and whoever of those wish to, could participate in a round of reserve duty, being retrained at regular intervals, to make themselves more battle-ready and expand the Armed Forces' capabilities," Dendias said.

To this effect, he planned to visit Finland in February to discuss "the how and what" in Helsinki.

The minister did not explicitly say the length of service would change but noted that "the longer someone stays [in the Armed Forces] if the length of service is not useful, it simply wastes his time and that of the Greek army. If the service is useful, the existing length of service is absolutely adequate."

In addition, he said the ministry had contacted the Hellenic Federation of Industries (SEV) and other professional organisations and "mapped out which professions the Greek economy and market demands so that the service provides digital skills to those who want to remain in the Armed Forces and qualifications to those people who will enter the job market, which is the majority," of those doing mandatory service.

He also added that one of the ministry's goals was to "increase the number of women" in the Army.

"Our Armed Forces must evolve, follow the times, because we are facing real and great threats," the defence minister said, reiterating the reforms planned in the Armed Forces that he has outlined recently, including innovation and domestic production of armaments.

Dendias: Hellenic Navy's mission has evolved since 2019

The Hellenic Navy has a greater mission, as its mission in 2024 is different from the same it had in 2019, National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday.

Speaking at a handover ceremony for the Hellenic Navy General Staff chief, at the Naval Academy in Piraeus, Dendias said he was proud of "increasing the national maritime space for which the Hellenic Navy is responsible."

He added, "I increased the space of national sovereignty, of the sovereign rights in which the Hellenic Navy once again has a say."

Dendias underlined the need for the Navy to "reach a point by 2030 when we have a strong, up-to-date Hellenic Navy, which is able to defend what the constitution requires and what sacrifices of decades past have created."

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