“An unknown man forced his way up to her and asked if she was Mona Sahlin. When she said yes, he became aggressive and in the commotion that followed the man punched her on the shoulder.”
The fact that she did not have any security led many of the papers to wonder if “anything at all had been learned from the murder of Anna Lindh”, and comments from the head of the security police will have done nothing to allay their fears.
“This incident shows that there is an underlying threat against people in the public eye,” said Klas Bergenstrand. “In this case it was a punch, but it could just as easily have been a knife.”
Bergenstrand announced that an investigation was underway but said that police did not know who the man was or what the motive might have been. And Mona Sahlin herself offered the press no clues.
“The government can’t comment on security arrangements,” said the minister’s press officer, Camila Buzaglo. “But I can confirm that she got a bruise.”
Meanwhile, Margot Wallström – Sweden’s EU Commissioner – emerged unscathed from an in-depth interview in Expressen.
“The next prime minister must be a woman,” read the headline, as Wallström explained why: “It’s high time, after all these years. Women must feel that they are visible and represented, both within the EU and at a national level.”
But as for whether she would take the job herself, Wallström was coyness itself. “I absolutely couldn’t see myself in that situation,” she fibbed.
If Wallström changes her mind she may face some unexpected competition, if the coverage given to this year’s newly-crowned Miss Sweden is anything to go by. Beneath a picture of a grinning Katarina Wigander, Göteborgs Posten proudly declared: “This proves it – girls from the west of Sweden are the prettiest!”
And not just pretty, but modest too, as Wigander admitted that she didn’t feel like a typical Miss Sweden.
“You have to take this sort of success with a pinch of salt,” she said. “Remember – there is a lot of poverty and hardship in the world.”