Monday, November 7, 2011

Austria Reinstates Sacked Chief of General Staff

VIENNA - The Austrian army's chief of general staff, who was dismissed in January after criticizing reform plans for the army, will be reinstated, the defense ministry said Nov. 7.
Defence Minister Norbert Darabos had relieved General Edmund Entacher after he criticized a plan to scrap compulsory military service.
But an appeals commission within the chancellery ruled Nov. 7 that Darabos's arguments for the dismissal were insufficient and quashed the decision, the ministry said in a statement. Darabos had said he sacked Entacher because the army chief of general staff had publicly "undermined (his) confidence."
In an interview with the weekly magazine Profil, Entacher had questioned whether Austria had enough funds or enough applicants to be able to conscription and create a professional army.
"From a legal point of view, my arguments about a loss of trust were obviously insufficient," Darabos said Nov. 7.
But he insisted: "For me, the need for army reforms is not open to discussion." The Austrian army has shrunk dramatically since the fall of the Iron Curtain, and politicians have struggled to define its new role.

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