Saturday, 7 April 2012

1977: Pop group ABBA wants to leave Sweden

The famous pop group ABBA is planning to turn their back on Sweden. Their manager Stig Anderson stated last Thursday that ABBA has reached this decision because the group thinks that they have to pay too much taxes.

Anderson, who made about 285.000 Dutch guilders last year: "We are thinking about moving to Switzerland, Monaco or Liechtenstein. In those countries, we could work just as well as in Sweden, maybe even better. Sweden is situated somewhat isolated up in the high North. We've already discussed this within the group extensively and we've come to an agreement."

The world famous group, that won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with their song 'Waterloo', has made millions in the meantime. The ABBA concern consists of 20 people who all have steady jobs there and the company has made a profit of nearly 35 million Dutch guilders last year. In 1976, Agnetha Fältskog made 107.000, Björn Ulvaeus 104.000, Anni-Frid Lyngstad 229.000 and Benny Andersson 100.000 Dutch guilders.
Manager Anderson: "Take Frida for example, who made 229.000. Everyone obviously thinks that she is driving a Rolls Royce and bathing in champagne, but in reality things are different. From her income, she payed at least 85 percent to taxes. Everyone can understand that this even gets too much for us."

ABBA's records are selling better than ever, but especially the pop critics in Sweden are more negative than ever in their reviews. Perhaps that's partly to blame on the fact that manager Stig Anderson is sometimes a little inconsiderate in his statements.

About the extraordinary development of ABBA's success, he said: "Indeed, the Swedes are not just dumb, they are even dumber." He says there's no other solution than to leave Sweden, under the circumstances. With that, ABBA is following in the footsteps of director Ingmar Bergman, the well-known folk singer Sven-Bertil Taube and tennis player Björn Borg, who respectively moved to West-Germany, England and Monaco. For the Swedish tax-collection office it's a neverending battle of Waterloo.


Monica said...

Very interesting article. I wonder about the statement from Stig if it really was a group discussion or just himself making comments on ABBA's behalf without speaking with ABBA first?

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