French President Emanuel Macron has reiterated a controversial campaign promise to bring back compulsory military service for young French people.
Earlier this month, Macron announced that his new “universal national service” would include a compulsory period of three to six months for all young people, who would either join the military or civic service.
Warning that there would be a financial cost to the plan, Macron told journalists that “…it would be prohibitive – this is not about recreating massive barracks”.
According to The Economist, however, estimates suggest that the cost of building 18 regional centres across France in order to accommodate 4,500 young people per month, would cost as much as €3.6 million.
The move has caused confusion in France, particularly after the French armed forces minister suggested that the scheme would “probably not be obligatory”. Thereafter, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux appeared to correct the armed forces minister, stating that “it will be universal…and it will be obligatory”.