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Abba star calls for cameras to fight terrorism in Europe

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Björn Ulvaeus pictured in Stockholm last year. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
08:47 CEST+02:00
Björn Ulvaeus says that European security forces need to work more closely together and argues that national safety should be prioritised over personal privacy in the fight against extremists.

The Abba singer sounded out his views in a debate article for Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet on Tuesday, a week after the terror attack in Brussels that killed 31 people including two Swedes.

He said that the deadly explosions in Belgium had "put the spotlight on Europe's problem with identifying and locating jihadists" and used the opinion piece to question the resources of Belgium's security service.

"The suicide attacks in Brussels could have been avoided if the Belgian security police were not sadly so incompetent," argued the pop star.

He also criticised European authorities for not working more closely together to combat terrorism and suggested he agreed with the idea of a central database to monitor the movements of potential extremists and criminals across borders.

The 70-year-old said he also backed more security cameras being put up around Europe, using his own experiences as a frequently followed "public person" to make the argument that national safety should be prioritised over personal privacy.

"In a way I have (…) as long as I can remember been living under surveillance. If security cameras can help us in the fight against Islamists, I say, with my personal experiences, unreservedly 'yes' we should install many more of them."

The star made his arguments two days after the Swedish foreign ministry confirmed that a woman in her 30s from northern Sweden was killed in the Brussels attacks. A woman in her 60s was already known to have died in the violence.

Ulvaeus is no stranger to joining global debates on a range of issues.

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In November 2014 he told The Local's former blogger Natalia Brzezinski that he was in favour of free music streaming, even if it meant that current stars were losing out on cash.

"Before Spotify there was illegal downloading and that was taking all the revenue away from the record companies and the artists. Spotify is huge in Sweden (...) yes, the writers don't make as much money, but it's better than making no money at all," he said.

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