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Ogi warns army reform won't come cheap

The defence minister, Adolf Ogi, has warned that his proposed army reforms are not likely to lead to a reduction in military spending. Ogi told Le Temps newspaper that the smaller-scale army could cost even more than its present-day equivalent.

The defence minister, Adolf Ogi, has warned that his proposed army reforms are not likely to lead to a reduction in military spending. Ogi told Le Temps newspaper that the smaller-scale army could cost even more than its present-day equivalent.

Under the plans the number of troops serving in the army will be reduced from 360,000 to around 200,000. However, Ogi insisted this would not necessarily mean a reduction in the army's budget.

"The new army must be equipped with the most up-to-date and sophisticated equipment," he told the newspaper.

Socialist parties have been pressing for a ten-year reduction in military spending, an issue which is likely to go a referendum in November. But Ogi's comments also follow pressure from parties on the right, who have been demanding a credible national defence.

The cabinet is due to vote on the proposed army reforms by the end of May.



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