2 February 2024

He is neither a real estate magnate nor a king of salmon or oil. But, like these Norwegian billionaires, Alf-Inge “Alfie” Haaland, former football international and father of young prodigy Erling Braut Haaland – who has just won the Champions League with his club Manchester City – has decided to go into exile. in Swiss. Revealed in early June, the information reignited the controversy in Norway over the flight of the super-rich, which accelerated in the fall of 2022, after the announcement of new tax increases by the center-center government. LEFT.

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One of the harshest criticisms was published in the newspaper Aftenposten, under the pen of the elected Labor Party Agnes Nærland Viljugrein. She recalls that the ex-footballer and his son were able to take advantage “fields to play, sports teams to develop and teammates” and, therefore, that Alfie Haaland “owes the Norwegian sports movement to pay taxes”.

Number two of the Red Party (extreme left), MP Marie Sneve Martinussen approves: “It is provocative that a football millionaire is evading tax at the same time that many children are being forced to quit sport because they cannot afford it “, she reacted.

“A central location in Europe”

In an editorial published in the newspaper Finansavisenof which he is one of the founders and the editor-in-chief, the businessman and billionaire Trygve Hegnar on the contrary brings his support to the father of Erling Haaland, victim according to him of a “tax hatred”. That the former footballer did not leave Norway sooner is a ” miracle “says Mr. Hegnar, who concedes that his departure “of course has a tax aspect”but can be explained by other reasons: “Switzerland is not a pirate state on a Caribbean island”he writes, referring to its many assets, such as “watches, chocolate, cheese, banks and tourism”.

If the departure of Alfie Haaland, whose wealth is estimated at 36 million crowns (3.1 million euros), causes so much noise, it is because he is not the first to abandon the fjords Norwegians for the Alpine peaks. In 2022 alone, at least thirty-three of its fellow citizens, among Norway’s wealthiest, emigrated to Switzerland to take advantage of the tax advantages the country offers to its residents. According to the newspaper Dagens Naeringslivthey had together paid at least 546 million crowns in taxes in 2021.

Among them, Kjell Inge Rokke, 64, majority shareholder of Aker ASA, at the head of one of the largest fortunes in Norway, estimated at 5.4 billion dollars (4.9 billion euros) by the magazine American Forbes in 2022. Since September 2022 he lives in Lugano. “It is neither (the place) the cheapest nor the one with the lowest taxes, but on the other hand it is a great place with a central location in Europe”he justified himself in a letter addressed to his co-shareholders and employees.

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