The Greek government is proposing a reduction in the mandatory length of military service for young men in the Greek Army by three months, so that it lasts nine months in total, according to Greek Defence Minister, Evangelos Meimarakis.

Meimarakis said the measure would go into effect for all those presenting themselves in August, while there would also be a shorter reductions for those that presented themselves for military service within 2009.

Specifically, those who began their national military service last February will serve 11 months in total, while those that began in May will serve 10 months.

Previously, the length of mandatory military service had been exactly one year.

The minister also clarified that once the duration of national service in the Army was reduced to nine months, all conscripts will be posted in regional areas outside the capital.

The length of military service in the Greek Navy and Air Force will continue to be one year, while Meimarakis said he was in favour of eventually phasing out the use of conscripts in the navy and air force in favour of professional troops.

The minister said the reduction in military service was made possible by an increase in the number of professional troops, the use of information technology, the new layout of army bases and the gradual progress in setting up electronic security systems to guard military facilities.