Defence ministry to scrap 12,000 jobs
The defence ministry is to sack some 6,000 staff and scrap over 12,000 jobs in all, well informed sources say.
To meet the overall reduction, some 2,300 vacancies have been cancelled, while some 4,000 workers are expected to retire as planned.
As part of government budget cuts, the defence ministry is projected to save one billion euros in the next four years. Defence Minister Hans Hillen will discuss his proposal with the cabinet on Friday.
On Thursday, the defence minister said he realised that defence staff was paying a high price but he refused to disclose any details.
He did express a wish for the discussion surrounding the budget cuts not to be limited to numbers but also to address the future role of the armed forces, for instance in policing an increasingly turbulent society.
Despite the impending redundancies, the minister added, it should be possible to mount another mission in Afghanistan, similar to the one carried out in Uruzgan province, at least in the near future. He emphasised, however, that such a mission could only be justified if there was a very pressing need.
The international presence in Afghanistan has, in the minister’s view, resulted in tangible progress, though at the cost of a very high number of soldiers killed.
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