Austrians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of retaining compulsory military service.
With all votes in the referendum counted, except postal ballots, 59.8% voted to keep the draft with 40.2% against, the interior ministry said. The issue has divided politicians in the coalition government.
Supporters of change said a professional army would be more effective – critics said it would put Austria’s cherished neutrality at risk. Austrian men must serve six months in the army or nine months in civilian service when they reach 18. Increasingly few European countries demand compulsory military service. France abandoned conscription in 1996, and Germany in 2011. Läs artikel