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Germany unveils long-term retooling plan for military

THE German government announced a long-term plan for the modernisation of its armed forces on Friday, an official report said.

Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a presentation to parliament in Berlin.

“It is not a sprint in front of us, rather it is a considerable marathon,’’ Von der Leyen said.

Von der Leyen, of the ruling centre-right Christian Democrats, said she wanted to make the Germany Army into the most attractive employer in the country.

Her proposals include more part-time work, better promotion opportunities and, for the first time, legally-stipulated working hours for soldiers.

“We want the best, we need the best, so we have to deliver the best working conditions,’’ she said.

Soldiers’ representatives described the draft legislation as a “great step.’’

Soldiers’ union chairman, Andre Wuestner said he would like to see particular improvements like allowances for skilled personnel and supplementary pension insurance provision for contracted soldiers.

The German Army hit the headlines earlier in the week for substandard equipment and dilapidated accommodation.

The armed forces ombudsman, Hellmut Koenigshaus, said in his annual report published on Tuesday that the armed forces were stretched to the very limit of their capabilities. (dpa/NAN)



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