Bring back na­tional service – Salvini

Irish Independent - - World - An­drea Vogt

ITALY is con­sid­er­ing re­in­stat­ing com­pul­sory na­tional service for its rest­less young cit­i­zens, ac­cord­ing to its hard-line in­te­rior min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini.

Mr Salvini, who is also deputy prime min­is­ter, called for a re­turn to mil­i­tary service, say­ing: “Above and be­yond ‘rights’ I would like to see a re­turn to there be­ing ‘du­ties’.”

Speak­ing at a rally in Lesina, Puglia, he added: “We are do­ing well to study the costs, ways and tim­ings for eval­u­at­ing if, how and when to rein­tro­duce – for a few months – obli­ga­tory mil­i­tary and civil service to our boys and girls, so at least they learn a bit of ‘ed­u­ca­tion’ that mum and dad are not ca­pa­ble of teach­ing them.”

Mr Salvini has re­peat­edly ex­pressed his sup­port for com­pul­sory mil­i­tary service, both as a tool for so­cial co­he­sion and in­te­gra­tion, as well as for train­ing young peo­ple to use arms re­spon­si­bly.

He did mil­i­tary service at the Mon­tello bar­racks in Mi­lan, which in 2016 were re­pur­posed as a hold­ing cen­tre for 300 asy­lum seek­ers, prompt­ing the far-right leader to per­son­ally at­tend neigh­bour­hood protests call­ing for their re­lo­ca­tion.

His party drafted leg­is­la­tion last year propos­ing con­scrip­tion but failed to gain par­lia­men­tary sup­port.

The League’s coali­tion part­ner, the pop­ulist Five Star Move­ment, is un­likely to back the proposal, given that it is not part of the gov­ern­ment “con­tract” the al­liance agreed to as bud­get pri­or­i­ties

But Mr Salvini has emerged as the most prom­i­nent voice of Italy’s gov­ern­ment, de­spite ac­cu­sa­tions of re­viv­ing Fas­cist era sen­si­bil­i­ties.

France, Bel­gium, Italy and the Nether­lands all sus­pended or abol­ished the draft in the 1990s. Swe­den and Ger­many fol­lowed suit in 2010 and 2011. (© Daily Tele­graph, Lon­don)

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