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Draft Dodgers

Estonia’s difficulty getting soldiers

Estonian military conscripts will receive 2,000-4,000 kroons per month (128-255 euros) starting next year as a result of defense forces wages reform. Professional military wages will also increase by 15%. Currently, young men fulfilling their obligatory service terms earn 10-64 euros per month (yes, we couldn’t believe it either), depending on their rank and length of service.

Defense Minister Jürgen Ligi said that the reason why the monthly payment was increased was the ministry’s trouble in getting Estonian young men to show up for their obligatory duty. We have to say: this stymies us. Estonia is sophisticated enough to issue national ID cards and even attempt to collect some sort of world-caliber DNA bank, yet it can’t locate its young people and force them to do their military service? We’re all for higher military salaries (why should soldiers starve?), but we believe the ministry should be able to cook up a decent plan to get kids to do their national service. If you need help, ask us, though don’t come around with a 64 euro per month salary offer. As the saying goes: Pay peanuts, get monkeys.