German army 'could recruit EU citizens'

Thursday - 27/12/2018 14:46
GETTY IMAGES / Germany has pledged to spend increasingly more of its budget on its military
GETTY IMAGES / Germany has pledged to spend increasingly more of its budget on its military
Seven years after Germany scrapped conscription, its defence chief has said employing EU citizens is "an option" to fill expert posts.

Army general inspector Eberhard Zorn said the forces had to "look in all directions in times of a lack of qualified personnel", such as doctors and IT specialists.

The armed forces have been beset by years of under-investment.

Germany aims to increase its military by 21,000 personnel by 2025.

It has also pledged to raise its defence budget from 1.2% to to 1.5% of its gross domestic product by 2024, in the face of criticism from President Donald Trump that it does not meet the Nato target of 2% of GDP.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview on Thursday that 182,000 uniformed soldiers were now employed by the army, a rise of 6,500 in two years. Within seven years, that should reach 203,000.

She said the army was now made up of 12% women and this year alone one in three people applying to be an officer was a woman.

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 Keywords: Germany

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