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Greece is the only member of the European Union to remain in mobilisation since the second world war. A state of war existed with Albania from 1940 to 1981. For the last 29 years and until recently we remained in a state of general mobilisation following the Turkish invasion and occupation of 33% of Cyprus.

Every other European country spends around 1.5% of their GDP on defence. We spend 5% to the detriment of health, education and research. The official excuse remains that of potential Turkish aggression, however the Ministry of Defence dogma states clearly that there is no risk of a war.

Conscription remains harsh in its length and conditions. The provisions for an alternative civil service are punitive. Until 1997 conscientious objectors were imprisoned; there are still persecuted. Thousands of draft evaders live abroad; they risk arrest if they return home to visit relatives. Those living within the greek borders are refused a passport, immigration or even a short trip abroad.

The Submarine Deals That Helped Sink Greece
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Monday, July 12, 2010
Νέα ATHENS—As Greece slashes spending to avoid default, it hasn't moved to skimp on one area: defense. The deeply indebted Mediterranean nation, whose financial crisis roiled the global financial system this year, is spending more than a billion euros on two submarines from Germany.

It's also looking to spend big on six frigates and 15 search-and-rescue helicopters from France. In recent years, Greece has bought more than two dozen F16 fighter jets from the U.S. at a cost of more than €1.5 billion.

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Courts go mad: New sentences against conscientious objectors
Concodoc at WRI, Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Αναφορά While the international conscientious objectors' movement focused on the situation of conscientious objectors in Greece for International Conscientious Objectors' Day - 15th May - the Greek courts embarked on a new wave of ridicilous punishments for conscientious objectors, in complete ignorance of any international standards.

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TURKEY: Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan arrested
War Resisters' International, Monday, April 11, 2005
Αναφορά Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan (TK14724) has been arrested today at 5am in the morning in a hotel in Basmane, a district of Izmir, where he went to work at a book fair. He was taken to a police station and held there until the military recruitment office opened. He was then brought to the recruitment office, and asked to sign papers to be sent to a military unit. Mehmet Tarhan replied: "You brought me here by force. I am a conscientious objector and won't sign anything." He was subsequently asked to write a statement that he is a conscientious objector. He replied: "I will not write or sign anything. You brought me here by force and you should solve the problem you created yourself."

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Focus on conscientious objection in Greece
anti, Sunday, March 20, 2005
Αναφορά 15 May 2005: International Conscientious Objectors' Day
Since the 1980s, 15 May is celebrated as International Conscientious Objectors' Day[1]. Originally coordinated by the International Conscientious Objectors' Meeting (ICOM), War Resisters' International stepped in to coordinate and promote International Conscientious Objectors' Day since ICOM ceased to meet ever since ICOM 1995 in Chad. As part of WRI's programme on The Right to Refuse to Kill [2], Since 2002, War Resisters' International helped to established a tradition of international nonviolent direct action on 15 May in support of a certain CO struggle, accompanied by decentral activities all over the world. Focus countries or region of the last years were the Balkans in 2002[3], Israel in 2003[4], and Chile/Latin America in 2004[5].

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Turkish support for greek CO
IAMI -Istanbul Antimilitarist Initiative, Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Αναφορά We're gathering to give support to the arrested Greek consciencious objector Giorgios Monastiriotis

On September 23rd, Thursday at 12:30, we'll be in front of the residence of the Greek Consul on Taksim Istiklal street, to demonstrate our solidarity with arrested consciencious objector Giorgios Monastiriotis, and also to protest the jingoists.

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The First Traditional Militourism Festival
Mehmet Tarhan, IAMI, Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Διεθνή On this International Conscientous Objectors' Day, which has been adopted as the 15th of May simply because the calendar had no other occasion marked on that date, we have decided to organize "The First Traditional Militourism Festival". The festival will include a tour, a concert and exhibition. In the tour, the militarist symbols of Istanbul/Turkey will be introduced and explained from a "historical and architectural" perspective by our "guides".

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An important step for conscientious objectors in Greece
EBCO, Friday, February 20, 2004
Αναφορά Statement of the International Delegation
Thessalonica, 19 February 2004

The Naval Court Martial of Thessaloniki decided today in the case of conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis not to be competent for trying a conscientious objector once he has been transferred to alternative service. For the first time in Greek CO history the legal dispute has been accepted that conscientious objector cases are civil cases without further court martial involvement.

The legal measures against Lazaros Petromelidis have been lifted. The deposit paid to secure bail will be paid back, and no longer does he have to report to his local police station every second week.

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CO given 20months suspended sentence
Michalis, Monday, June 30, 2003
Αναφορά The trial took place at the 'Review Military Court' of Athens, the same higher court martial where Petromelides has appeared several times so far. The differences this time, compared with previous appearences, were that 1. Greece is no longer in a state of 'general military mobilisation', for the first time since 1974. This makes Petromelides' 'crime' much less serious in the punishment it might attract. 2. The case he brought to the Greek High Court has not succeeded. Petromelides brought the case to the Hight Court claiming that the law on Conscientious Objection was unconstitutional due to its grossly discriminatory nature.

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Greece promotes Turkey's EU credentials
socratisv, Friday, January 10, 2003
Νέα Greece, current holder of the EU presidency, steps up the pressure for Turkey to be admitted to the EU
It is a political necessity for Turkey to be accepted into the European Union, according to Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis. In an interview with Le Monde, the Greek leader revealed his vision for Turkey’s relationship with the EU and gave his views on enlargement, the Iraqi crisis and the role of the Greek Presidency.

"It would be politically wrong to exclude Turkey because it can play a role with Europe in the Middle East and Central Asia. It’s an important partner," he argued. Mr Simitis stressed that he did not agree with the controversial comments of Convention President Valery Giscard d’Estaing before Christmas that Turkey did not have a place in the EU. European identity can be seen in many ways – geographically, politically, economically, but not in a religious way, he said.

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Cyprus: Conscientious objector status must be amended
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, Friday, November 15, 2002
Αναφορά Following rising concern that Cypriot conscientious objectors are receiving repeated prison sentences because they refuse to serve in military reservist exercises, Amnesty International has written to President Clerides urging him to amend the legislation on the issue, and to bring it in line with international standards.

The right to conscientious objection is not recognised in Cyprus for reservists. Men who refuse to perform military service on religious grounds are often charged with insubordination.

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Pandora's box
· Conscription in Europe
· Conscription in Greece
· Conscientious Objection
· The European Parliament on Greek draft laws

· The european charter on the rights of conscripts
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