PARIS — The number of young French people applying to join the army since the Nov. 13 attacks has tripled. After first refraining from making these figures public during the three-day period of national mourning, the French Defense Ministry told Le Monde Thursday it had received 1,500 applications per day since Friday, compared to 500 before the attacks.
Colonel Eric de Lapresle, a top army marketing and communication official, told Le Monde the current situation was "completely unprecedented" and "staggering."
French land forces had already seen a surge in applications after the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket killings in January. President François Hollande had also decided to maintain most military positions that had been originally intended to be cut before the January attacks.
After the latest attacks Friday, Hollande announced the creation of 8,500 additional positions, which, as Le Figaro reports, will cost the French government 600 million euros in 2016.
The French army expects to receive some 160,000 applications in 2015, compared to 120,000 last year. Of this figure, about 15,000 are likely to pass all the evaluation tests and declared able to join the military ranks.