Security Service reports TV crew for Reinfeldt attack

The Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolisen - SÄPO) has reported Strix Television to the police after one of its employees squirted Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt with water at a film premiere on Tuesday evening.

A public prosecutor will now consider whether the actions of the reporter constitute harassment.

“The Security Service takes a dim view of the matter as it hinders the meticulous work we do to protect central state figures,” said SÄPO in a statement.

The attack happened as Reinfeldt arrived with his two sons at the Rigoletto Cinema in central Stockholm for the Swedish premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The reporter thrust a fake microphone in his face, and squirted the water.

The water attack was carried out by an employee of production company Strix, which is making a comedy series for public service channel SVT. The programme is based on ‘Balls of Steel’, a programme made by British Channel 4, which has carried out a similar attack on Tom Cruise.

Following the attacks, the programme-makers interview the victim and ask how it felt.

SVT’s communications director said the people attacked are always asked for permission before the stunt is televised.

“What the answer was on this occasion, I don’t know,” Helga Baagøe said.

“All I can say in a general sense is that if the prime minister or his children experienced this as some kind of harassment, I apologize. That was never our intention,” she added.

Singers Carola Häggkvist and Markoolio have also been attacked by the television team.

Reinfeldt’s office was not amused by the incident.

“We find it hard to see what was funny about this. It could have been serious,” said Reinfeldt’s press secretary Oscar Hållén.

Reinfeldt left the cinema directly after the film, and was not available for a comment.

The prime minister is not the first senior Swede to be attacked in this way. Bosse Ringholm, a former finance minister, and King Carl Gustaf have both had cakes thrown in their faces. The then-prime minister, Carl Bildt, had a lunchbox thrown at him by a drunkard in a Stockholm restaurant.