Kristin Halvorsen

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Kristin Halvorsen
Kristin Halvorsen 2009a.jpg
Minister of Education and Research
In office
20 October 2009 – 16 October 2013
Prime MinisterJens Stoltenberg
Preceded byBård Vegar Solhjell
Succeeded byTorbjørn Røe Isaksen
Minister of Finance
In office
17 October 2005 – 20 October 2009
Prime MinisterJens Stoltenberg
Preceded byPer-Kristian Foss
Succeeded bySigbjørn Johnsen
Leader of the Socialist Left Party
In office
3 May 1997 – 11 March 2012
Preceded byErik Solheim
Succeeded byAudun Lysbakken
Personal details
Born (1960-09-02) 2 September 1960 (age 59)
Horten, Norway
Political partySocialist Left Party
Spouse(s)Charlo Halvorsen
Alma materUniversity of Oslo

Kristin Halvorsen (born 2 September 1960) 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 125th 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.

Kristin Halvorsen's parents are Leif Georg Halvorsen, a civil engineer, and Marit Larsen, a teacher. Kristin is married to Charlo Halvorsen, an editor at Norsk Rikskringkasting.[1]


Kindergarten coverage promise[edit]

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".[2] While she stood firmly by her announcement even two months after the election,[3] 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".[2] 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.[4]

Poverty resolved "with the stroke of a pen" claim[edit]

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.[5]

Israel boycott[edit]

On 5 January 2006, Halvorsen caused a controversy by calling for boycott of Israeli products as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinians[6] The government and the other parties in the coalition distanced themselves from these remarks,[7] and Halvorsen later apologized as foreign matters were outside her government position.[8]

In January 2009, Halvorsen took part in anti-Israel protests which erupted into violent riots.[9]


  • Rett fra hjertet (Straight from the Heart), 2004


  1. ^ Ellen Kongsnes (4 April 2014). "Kristin på blind date men Charlo" [Kristin on blind date with Charlo]. Stavanger Aftenblad. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Halvorsen går ikke likevel". DinSide (in Norwegian). 23 October 2006. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Halvorsen: - Full barnehagedekning, ellers går jeg av" [Halvorsen: - Full day care, or I go]. Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 18 November 2005. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009.
  4. ^ Almendingen, Berit (18 December 2007). "Bryter barnehageløftet". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 19 February 2008.
  5. ^ Skarvøy, Jars joakim (20 August 2009). "Nekter å be de fattige om unnskyldning". Nettavisen. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Norway split over Israel boycott". BBC News. 5 January 2006. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009.
  7. ^ "SV's boycott call embarrasses government". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  8. ^ Hege Lyngved Odinsen (1 June 2006). "Kristin Halvorsen beklager boikott-uttalelser" [Kristin Halvorsen apologizes about boycott statements]. Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  9. ^ "160 personer innbrakt av politiet" (in Norwegian). NRK. 10 January 2009.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Erik Solheim
Leader of the Socialist Left Party
Succeeded by
Audun Lysbakken
Political offices
Preceded by
Per Kristian Foss
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Sigbjørn Johnsen
Preceded by
Bård Vegar Solhjell
Minister of Education and Research
Succeeded by
Torbjørn Røe Isaksen