|Photo: Seppo Samuli/norden.org|
|Minister of Education and Research|
20 October 2009 – 16 October 2013
|Preceded by||Bård Vegar Solhjell|
|Succeeded by||Torbjørn Røe Isaksen|
|Minister of Finance|
17 October 2005 – 20 October 2009
|Prime Minister||Jens Stoltenberg|
|Preceded by||Per-Kristian Foss|
|Succeeded by||Sigbjørn Johnsen|
|Member of the Norwegian Parliament
1989 – 2013
2 September 1960 |
|Political party||Socialist Left Party|
|Alma mater||University of Oslo|
Kristin Halvorsen (born 2 September 1960 in) is a Norwegian socialist politician. She served as Minister of Finance from 17 October 2005 to 20 October 2009 and as Minister of Education from 20 October 2009 to 16 October 2013.
Taking over as leader of the Socialist Left Party in 1997, she established an unprecedented level of consensus within the party. At the 2005 election, the party received a disappointing 8.8% share of the vote, and in 2009 down further, to 6.2%. Many who describe themselves as being on the left side of the party have suggested that Halvorsen step down. She was succeeded by Audun Lysbakken on 11 March 2012.
The Socialist Left, in coalition with the Labour Party and the Centre Party, won Norway's September 2005 parliamentary elections. The resulting Red-Green coalition government marked the first time that the Socialist Left Party was included in the cabinet. Kristin Halvorsen took office as the 78th Minister of Finance in Norwegian history and the first woman ever to serve in that post.
She resigned as leader of the Socialist Left Party in 2012.
Halvorsen was born in Horten, Vestfold. After taking university courses in pedagogy (1.5 years) and criminology (1 year) without receiving a degree, Halvorsen worked for a while as a legal secretary. She served as a vice member to the Parliament from 1985, and was elected member of Parliament in 1989, representing the county of Oslo, a seat she has held ever since. She has been a member of the parliamentary standing Committee on Finance (1989–1997) and the Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs (1997–2001). She is presently a member of the Election Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of the Socialist Left Party's parliamentary group, but is on leave from these positions while sitting in government.
Halvorsen was the first Norwegian party leader to launch a blog.
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (January 2011)|
Kindergarten coverage promise
In the electoral campaign of the 2005 election Halvorsen announced that she would leave politics if the government would not be able to provide all citizens with kindergarten for their children by the end of 2007, and proclaimed that "this is so important for me that you'll get rid of me if we don't accomplish this". While she stood firmly by her announcement even two months after the election, she in October 2006 simply withdrew her promise, stating that "what I have said is that we'll have full coverage in 2007. But nobody will get rid of me if full coverage is missing in one or two municipalities". By the end of 2007, 90 percent of municipalities will be able to offer kindergarten for all applicants, with the not fully covered constituting approximately 43 municipalities in Norway.
Poverty resolved "with the stroke of a pen" claim
In the same electoral campaign she claimed that poverty in Norway could be eliminated "with the stroke of a pen". After being elected to government and becoming Minister of Finance, by the end of the four-year term she had not accomplished this, as homelessness was actually increasing. When attending a television program during the 2009 electoral campaign, she also refused to apologise to the poor in Norway for her failure.
On 5 January 2006, Halvorsen caused a controversy by calling for boycott of Israeli products as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinians  The government and the other parties in the coalition distanced themselves from these remarks, and Halvorsen later apologized.
- Rett fra hjertet (Straight from the Heart), 2004
- "Halvorsen går ikke likevel". DinSide (in Norwegian). 23 October 2006.
- "Halvorsen: - Full barnehagedekning, ellers går jeg av". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 18 November 2005.
- Almendingen, Berit (18 December 2007). "Bryter barnehageløftet". Nettavisen (in Norwegian).
- Skarvøy, Jars joakim (20 August 2009). "Nekter å be de fattige om unnskyldning". Nettavisen.
- Norway split over Israel boycott, BBC News
- SV's boycott call embarrasses government, Aftenposten
- Kristin Halvorsen apologizes boycott statements (Norwegian), Verdens Gang
- "Kristin Halvorsen" (in Norwegian). Stortinget.no.
- Entry at party website (Norwegian)
- Blog at party website (Norwegian)
Per Kristian Foss
|Norwegian Minister of Finance
Bård Vegar Solhjell
|Minister of Education and Research
Torbjørn Røe Isaksen
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Socialist Left Party