Macron will Keep his Promise of Compulsory Military Service
Two decades after Paris canceled compulsory military service, it will be reintroduced into France, the government said on Tuesday. This means that French President Emmanuel Macron will keep one of the promises in his election campaign.
Macron surprised everyone in the country after a year ago said he would make it obligatory for young people to spend at least a month in the army "and have direct contact with the military service."
He justified this idea with the need for social unity in a society where young people have multiple differences in their perception of the world.
But these proposals have also led to negative responses from the army, which has already committed enough to engage anti-terrorist missions in the Middle East and West Africa, as well as to track potential jihadists at home.
Opposition parties and experts also warned about the possible costs of training about 800,000 young people a year. Last week, Defense Secretary Florence Parley said that "military service may not be mandatory."
But the government's spokesman, Benjamin Grivo, has confirmed that Macron's plan is for compulsory military service and the president has not given up on his idea. In January, Macron, who was the first French president to serve in the army, insisted he was not trying to revive the tradition that was canceled by former President Jacques Chirac.
The government plans to test the plan in 2019.
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