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Swedish young military-aged males most reluctant to join NATO

Swedish males between the ages of 18 and 29 are the demographic most reluctant to join NATO, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by Novus, found that 43% of young men are in favour of NATO membership, while another 43% – the same proportion – are opposed.

By comparison, only 32% of women in the same age range opposed the move.

Young males were the only demographic somewhat hesitant of the idea, with all other groups showing clear support for joining the alliance. Overall, 53% of the Swedish public say they support joining NATO – an increase from last week’s 48%.

However, speaking to Swedish broadcaster SVT, Novus CEO Torbjörn Sjöström said that younger people were generally much more hesitant about NATO membership than older age groups.

“If we go up to the age group 30-49, 51% are in favour,” he said.

“And then it continues slowly but surely upwards to the oldest age group, 65-79 years, where 61% are positive.”

In Sweden all men between the ages of 19 and 47 are eligible for military service and conscription.

In 2017 Sweden re-introduced conscription in response to Russia’s Baltic military drills. This means that thousands of young Swedes born in a certain year are chosen at random to undergo military assessment, and conscripts are required to serve in the military for 9 to 12 months.

Sweden previously had military conscription until 2010, but at that time only men were eligible for the draft. Now women can qualify as well.

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