Conscription

Austrians Vote To Maintain Conscription

One of the last vestiges of slavery

|

Austrians voted to keep military conscription on Sunday, bucking a trend towards replacing conscripts with professional armies in Western Europe that began with the end of the Cold War.

The neutral Alpine nation that once stood at the frontier between the Warsaw Pact and NATO voted 60 percent in favor of maintaining the draft, which is seen as binding civil society to the military and instilling a sense of citizenship in young men.

The result is a blow to Chancellor Werner Faymann's Social Democrats, who had argued a smaller, professional force would be more suited to modern military reality, more cost-efficient and fairer to young people.

Advertisement