Bulgaria to cut army by 8,000: Defense Minister

Bulgaria plans to lay off some 8,000 army staff to streamline its armed forces and provide better pay for the military, Defence Minister Veselin Bliznakov said on Thursday.

Bulgaria to cut army by 8,000: Defense Minister
The country ended conscription and became a fully professional army as of January. It is also buying new equipment to modernise its once Soviet-allied army to NATO standards.

Analysts say the European Union newcomer is facing problems hiring new soldiers due to poor salaries and social benefits.

"We need to focus on the social benefits for the military. We need to offer better health care, better recreation and improve our housing policy," Bliznakov told reporters.

He said the ministry would try to increase the average pay in the armed forces, which will number 32,000 after the planned cuts, by about 10 percent to 12 percent as of next year.

Another 1,400 administrative jobs will also be eliminated.

Agencies
Last Mod: 07 Mart 2008, 11:44
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