The Italian parliament voted at the end of July in favour of an end to compulsory military service. However, those who want to join the police, the carabinieri, the customs service and even the fire brigade will still have to do one year of military service as professional soldiers, at a salary of €980.
Defence Minister Antonio Martino said that the abolition of compulsory military service would be advantegous both to young people, who would be able to start their careers earlier, and to the military, which presently is unable to send conscripts on military operations abroad.
Presently military service lasts 8 months, and substitute civilian service for conscientious objectors lasts 10 months.
Source: AFP, 29 July 2004 - http://www.spacewar.com/2004/040729173436.vydsvw3f.html