Armed Forces demand SEK 3bn extra annually
The Swedish Armed Forces demand another SEK 3 billion annually to do the job specified by the parliament's Defence Committee, Swedish Television News reports.
Only ten days ago, neither the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces, Sverker Göransson, nor Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, wanted to speak about the money needed to bring Sweden's defence into an acceptable shape. But according to SVT, the price tag can now be revealed.
The three million kronor extra every year would cover the basic requirements specified by the politicians in the cross party committee, Försvarsberedningen. This is a special forum where the government and political parties in the opposition seek consensus on security issues.
Already before Christmas, it was clear that the Armed Forces would not be able to meet the requirements, which have been specified with the "Sweden's new security situation" in mind, SVT reports. Back then, Supreme Commander Göransson wrote down a list of what he sees as an absolutely necessary to meet these requirements. Included on the list were: equipment for the soldiers, more exercise for the armed forces, vehicles and health care material.
But the cost of this has never been specified. Now SVT reports that they can reveal the price-tag. The three million kronor annually do not include the 10 extra Gripen fighter planes and two new submarines, that the Defence Committee also wants.
This is a big amount, notes SVT, considering the very difficult economic situation that Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson spoke about earlier this week, in her economic predictions.
The price-tag will now be at the centre of negotiations between the government and the four centre-right opposition parties that are expected to start in the beginning of February. The plan is that parliament later this spring will make a decision about the Armed Forces from 2016 an onwards.