More join Spanish army in times of crisis

6th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

A newspaper reports says the number of applicants for the Spanish army rose almost 82 percent in the year 2008.

MADRID – The number of applicants for the Spanish army rose almost 82 percent last year compared to 2007 as a result of job cuts during the economic crisis, Spanish daily El Pais reported on Tuesday.

The army received 78,575 applications in 2008 compared to 43,036 in 2007, making for an average of 3.42 applicants per vacancy compared to 1.73 applicants one year previously, El Pais cited official figures as showing.

Defence ministry officials were not available for comment on the report as Tuesday is Epiphany - a public holiday in Spain.

Spain abolished compulsory military service in 2001 and currently has 81,607 people in the armed forces.

Spain suffered a sharp downturn in 2008, after an extended period of strong economic growth, that hit the booming construction sector and drastically increased the unemployment rate to 11.33 percent.

[AFP / Expatica]

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