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Military agencies threatened by 3 billion kronor in cuts

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Military agencies threatened by 3 billion kronor in cuts
14:58 CEST+02:00
Sweden's leading defence research agency and primary military procurement body should be shuttered as part of an effort to reduce the country's military spending, according to a new report.

The Swedish government ordered the report, which was prepared by a special commission headed by former Armed Forces general director Marie Hafström and handed over on Friday, for guidance on how to rein in spending at a number of agencies which provide support services to the Swedish military.

Among the 250-page report's several suggestions is a proposal to close down the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) in favour of a larger, more far-reaching military support agency which would carry out some of FOI's and FMV's current activities.

Additional cost-savings measures proposed in the report include the scrapping of the National Service Administration (Pliktverket), a civil agency which supports enlistment and recruitment, and closing the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan).

The 3 billion kronor ($380 million) worth of savings measures would mean the loss of well over 2,000 jobs, or nearly a quarter of the 8,600 staff which make up the workforce tasked with supporting the Swedish military.

But Hafström refused to provide any specific figures on exactly how many positions might be eliminated when the proposals are carried out.

“I'm not going to make an estimate. But the challenge now is that resources which are freed up will obviously mean the staff involved in those activities, which according to my proposal will no longer be in operation, will be affected,” she said when she presented the report.

She said that it's important to look at the staffing situation at the various agencies, adding that there will likely be a wave of retirements between 2009 and 2014.

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