Per Ditlev-Simonsen

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Per Ditlev-Simonsen
64th Mayor of Oslo
In office
17 October 1995 – 29 August 2007
Preceded by Ann-Marit Sæbønes
Succeeded by Svenn Kristiansen
Minister of Defence
In office
Monarch Olav V
Prime Minister Jan P. Syse
Preceded by Johan Jørgen Holst
Succeeded by Johan Jørgen Holst
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
for Oslo
In office
1981 – 1985
Personal details
Born (1932-06-12) 12 June 1932 (age 84)
Nationality Norway
Political party Conservative
Children Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen
Residence Oslo, Norway
Alma mater Stanford University
Occupation Shipping magnate

Per Ditlev-Simonsen (born 12 June 1932) is a Norwegian politician. He was the mayor of Oslo, representing the Conservative Party, from 1995 to 2007. He stepped down on 23 August 2007 following the Swiss bank-account scandal.

Ditlev-Simonsen was an officer of the Norwegian Royal Guards, and he later attended Stanford University getting a Master of Arts degree. After college, Ditlev-Simonsen became a partner in his father's shipping company Sverre Ditlev-Simonsen & Co (SDS) in 1955. He was a partner in the company until 1995.

Ditlev-Simonsen was a Member of Parliament from 1981 to 1985, serving in the Standing Committee of Finance. From 1989 to 1990 Ditlev-Simonsen was Minister of Defense in the Cabinet of Jan P. Syse.

Swiss bank account tax probe[edit]

In August 2007, the presence of a hitherto unknown Swiss bank account was revealed. The revelation came after an acrimonious divorce involving his daughter, Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen, the communications director of Norsk Hydro.[1] The account, which contained NOK 1.5 million had been inherited by Ditlev-Simonsen after his wife died in 1990, and he eventually admitted to not having paid the Norwegian wealth tax on it.[2]

The revelation caused several opposition politicians to call for Ditlev-Simonsen's resignation. Erna Solberg, the head of the Conservative Party, asked that Ditlev-Simonsen refrain from active campaigning for his party ahead of the local elections scheduled for 10 September. Even if he had not resigned, the 75-year-old Ditlev-Simonsen was set to retire after the election.[3] The incident was believed to be a cause of the Conservative's 4 percent drop in opinion polls, three weeks ahead of the election.[4]


  1. ^ Aftenposten (August 17, 2007). "Mayor caught in tax probe". 
  2. ^ Aftenposten (August 20, 2007). "Mayor sorry but won't resign". 
  3. ^ Aftenposten (August 20, 2007). "Oslo's mayor faces resignation demands". 
  4. ^ Aftenposten (August 22, 2007). "Voters abandon Conservatives". 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ann-Marit Sæbønes
Mayor of Oslo
Succeeded by
Svenn Erik Kristiansen