|Minister of Transport and Communications|
16 October 2013
|Prime Minister||Erna Solberg|
|Preceded by||Marit Arnstad|
|Member of Parliament
12 September 2005 – 16 October 2013
14 February 1972 |
|Political party||Progress Party|
|Alma mater||University of Toledo|
|Religion||Church of Norway (until 2010)
Christianity (since 2010)
Ketil Solvik-Olsen (born 14 February 1972) is a Norwegian politician for the Progress Party and has been Minister of Transport and Communications in the Solberg cabinet since 2013. He was previously a member of the Norwegian Parliament from 2005 to 2013.
Early life and education
Solvik-Olsen was born and raised in Time to self-employed businessman Aksel Emil Solvik-Olsen (born 1943) and socionom Berit Lagergren (born 1943). After finishing Rosseland elementary School, he attended Bryne Upper Secondary school as well as St. Olav Upper Secondary school in Stavanger.
From 1989 to 1990 he was an exchange student at Blissfield High School, Michigan, USA, and from 1994 to 1997 he studied political science and social economics (summa cum laude) at the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA. He spent over five years in USA including working for Disney, as a volunteer during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and as an intern with the United States Senate.
Solvik-Olsen joined the Progress Party already as a fifteen year-old, and has held various positions within the party. He first made his way into national politics by first working for five years as a political advisor and aide to Øyvind Vaksdal and Siv Jensen.
Aside from being deputy in the Oslo City council, he had never before served as an elected official when he was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Rogaland in 2005. He was consecutively re-elected in 2009. He didn´t seek renomination for the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2013, but was nominated on the 9th spot on the ballot.
Minister of Transportation and Communication
After the election, he was appointed as Minister of Transportation, apart of prime minister Erna Solbergs new cabinet. Before taking up the post, the Progress Party had announced that it would be reducing the amount of toll roads, and this was widely expected to be one of the most important transformation reforms. Despite immediately beginning to dismantle some existing toll booths, and cancelling some planned toll projects, there where disappointment over the slow pace of the reform. Opponents also criticised Solvik-Olsen for making extravagant and unrealistic promises in prior to the election and giving false hopes to the population.
Solvik-Olsen has stated that he thinks Norway needs a "libertarianism which is pragmatic". He was also noted for being critical of the Red-Green governmental environmental policies, in that he claims it is too much based on "symbol politics" and "ambitious goals", instead of seeking feasible realistic options. He has also said that he is personally social conservative, though is liberal with regards to how other people wish to live their lives.
He is married to Tone Solvik-Olsen, a medical doctor. Together they have two children, one girl and one boy. The family currently resides in the Voksenåsen neighborhood in the Oslo borough of Vestre Aker
Since his stay in the United States, Solvik-Olsen has been a automobile enthusiast, his collection includes a second generation 1985 model Cadillac Seville, a convertible Dodge Stratus, in addition to over 80 Model cars. A lifelong teetoaler, he abstains from all harmful stimulants, including tobacco, and coffee. He is however, a notorious aficionado of chocolate, an addiction which has been described as "morbid". He compensates the high-sugar diet by eating very small regular meals, and skipping lunch altogether.
He is a personally Christian, and was a member of the Church of Norway until he withdrew in 2010 after leaders of the church had publicly opposed oil exploration in Lofoten and Vesterålen, with Solvik-Olsen strongly opposing the church getting involved in "party politics". He is connected to Pentecostalism, in that he feels a close belonging with the Pentecostal congregation Filadelfia, which he regularly attends. His wife is also a member of the congregation, and his two children is christened there. He is not an official member however, since it requires a Believer's baptism and he considers his childhood baptism to be valid and sufficient.
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