FYROMacedonian Soldiers Stage Strike
Skopje | 02 November 2009 | Sinisa-Jakov Marusic
Pointing out that “Macedonia” has about 200 troops currently serving in NATO’s mission to Afghanistan, under often difficult conditions, the professional soldiers also want to increase the 38 year old age limit for serving full time in the army, saying that such changes will enable them to map out a comprehensive career path.
After meeting the minister of defense on Friday, the soldiers now want to meet the country’s President, as well as the Prime Minister.
At Friday’s meeting, Minister of Defence Zoran Kojanovski rejected the soldiers’ demands. Calling them ”unacceptable”, he said increasing the age limit for serving professionally could jeopardize the soldiers’ safety.
The minister said all citizens are entitled to apply for jobs in public administration, but the government cannot guarantee civil service jobs to the soldiers.
“There is still nothing from what we expected,” a member of the soldiers protest body, Vele Krbaleski, told media.
Instead, Kojanovski unveiled plans that would include all professional soldiers aged over 38 in the active reserve and would entitle them to receive compensation amounting to 30 per cent of the professional soldiers’ average salary.
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