The workers, from Kockums shipyard, were protesting against planned government defence cuts. The cuts are targeted mainly at defence procurement, and a number of major projects are threatened with the axe. More equipment will in future be bought overseas.
“We want to show our presence,” said Ingvar Mattisson, representative of the Seko union at the Karlskrona shipyard.
Reinfeldt said he had no news for the shipyard workers. Asked directly by one of the workers whether their jobs would still be there in two years, Reinfeldt replied:
“The state cannot be a lifelong guarantor for jobs.”
The prime minister stressed that the government was following the results of a defence review undertaken by the previous administration.
“It will have an effect of the defence industry in its current form,” he said.
“Reducing domestic development of defence equipment is not a new idea,” he added.
Defence Minister Mikael Odenberg resigned last week in protest at cuts to the defence budget.