Austria votes on military service

Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM

VIENNA, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Austria held a referendum Sunday on whether to scrap the draft and move to a professional army, officials said.

As one of the few countries with compulsory military service, most men are expected to complete six months of service, Euronews said.

A Gallup poll indicated 48 percent of Austrians were in favor of keeping the draft, while 40 percent would be in favor of the change.

Euronews said the state may need to create new jobs if voters choose a full-time military, as any change would lead to a shortage of manpower.

Some Austrians believe the professional military may undo the country's neutrality and may lead other countries to pressure Austria to join NATO.

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