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Greece simply has too many soldiers spread out across too many bases.The tens of thousands of young Greeks serving their country are a major revenue source for the local economies where military bases are situated.The country needs to show clear progress on budget cuts, and the military would seem to be a good place to make them.Costly armament purchases are, of course, part of the equation.Guard Duty and Chores There are currently more than 500 military bases scattered across the country and no fewer than 17 training centers for new recruits.Some bases seem to serve no military or strategic purpose and many of them are understaffed.The long journey is not cheap: Military personnel get travel expenses, work hours are lost and of course, copious quantities of fuel are consumed.A former senior officer with the corps described the operation, which he oversaw several times while on duty, in a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Probably because some locally elected politician wanted the unit in Ioannina so that he could act as a 'visma' and get people transferred." In Greek military jargon, a "visma" is a politician who ensures that his constituents get transferred as far as possible from the Greek-Turkish border.
But the country's military budget still offers plenty of room for trimming.Local politicians have always lobbied for the establishment of military facilities in their constituencies.