Swedish PM raps spies over £500k Bond party
Revelations that Sweden’s spy agency treated itself to a lavish James Bond-themed party yesterday prompted prime minister Fredrik Reinfeld to urge department to control their spending on staff bashes.
The party for 1,000 guests featured casino tables, celebrity entertainers and a tuxedo-clad band playing Bond themes and cost 5.3 million crowns (£500,000). It took place in June 2011 during a government austerity drive.
Dagens Nyheter newspaper first broke the story on Monday and has followed up with further details.
It said the spy agency, known as Sapo, may have failed to put the event out to tender and claimed too much tax back, just as it faces possible cuts in its budget. The opposition has called for an investigation.
Sapo chief Anders Thornberg said the agency had been “under pressure” after a sweeping reorganisation as well as a suicide bombing in Stockholm by an Islamist militant in December 2010.
“We thought that we needed a special gathering for the whole security police team,” he reportedly said.
Yesterday Mr Reinfeldt said that agency chiefs “were well paid [and] should know better.”
For some Swedes, the scandal is a sign that the market reforms of recent years have seeped into Sweden’s once austere government bodies and led to a rise of the kind of lavish spending that are more in keeping with large corporations.
Sweden’s enterprise ministry is under investigation after reports that it failed to tender contracts out for a Christmas party.
And the Swedish Foundation of Strategic Research was forced to apologise for spending more than a £600,000 destined for research on a party for 500 guests.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West