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30 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Erna Solberg

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Erna Solberg, the current Prime Minister of Norway, took over the office in October 2013, following her victory in the September 2013 election. Here are some really interesting facts about the Norwegian politician:

  1.  She is the second female in the history of Norway to hold the position of Prime Minister, after Gro Harlem Brundtland, who served as the Prime Minister of the country for three terms in 1981, 1986–89, and 1990–96.
  2.  With the Government being re-elected in the 2017 election, she became the longest serving Prime Minister of Norway to represent the Conservative party, surpassing Kåre Willoch.
  3.  Solberg, often dubbed as “Norway’s Angela Merkel” also became the first conservative leader in Norway to win re-election since the 1980s, when the Government was re-elected in 2017.
  4.  Her cabinet is often informally referred to as the "Blue-Blue Cabinet" with the minority government of two parties consisting of the Conservative Party and Progress Party.
  5.  With the re-election in the year 2017, the minority coalition was extended to include the Liberal Party, and is now informally referred to as the "Blue-Green cabinet."
  6.  Erna Solberg was born on February 24, 1961, in Bergen in western Norway to Asbjørn Solberg and Inger Wenche Torgersen.
  7.  She grew up in the affluent Kalfaret neighborhood, with her two sisters - Marit Solberg - 4 years elder to her and Ingrid Solberg, younger tham her.
  8.  Her father, who died in the year 1989, was a consultant in the Bergen Sporvei, a municipal owned public transport company, while her mother, who passed away recently in 2016, was an office worker.
  9.  During her school days, she reportedly faced quite some struggles, and was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 16. Still, she was an active and talkative contributor in the classroom.
  10.  She was elected to the board of the School Student Union of Norway in the final year of her high school, in the year 1979.
  11.  She led the national charity event Operasjon Dagsverk, in which students collected money for Jamaica, in the same year.
  12.  She received her cand.mag. degree in sociology, political science, statistics and economics, which is equivalent to a master's degree, from the University of Bergen in the year 1986.
  13.  It was during her final year at the University of Bergen, where her career in politics started, when she led the Students' League of the Conservative Party.
  14.  In the periods 1979-1983 and 1987-1989, she was a deputy member of Bergen city council, with the last period being on the executive committee.
  15.  In the initial days of her political career, she chaired local and municipal chapters of the Young Conservatives and the Conservative Party.
  16.  In the year 1989, she was first elected to the Storting, the supreme legislature of Norway, from Hordaland, and till date has been re-elected five times.
  17.  From the year 1994 till 1998, Solberg served as the leader of the national Conservative Women's Association.
  18.  She was the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development from 2001 to 2005, under Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. It was during this period that she earned her popular media nickname "Jern Erna" for her tough policies including the firm stance on asylum policy.
  19.  She served as deputy leader of the Conservative Party from the year 2002 to 2004 before becoming the leader of the party in May 2004.
  20.  She reportedly proposed the introduction of Islamic Sharia Councils in Norway in the year 2003. The very next year, she wished to increase immigration to Norway.
  21.  She, as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, instructed the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration to expel Mulla Krekar, for being a threat to national security.
  22.  In the year 2010, terrorism charges were filed against Krekar, citing a death threat he uttered against Solberg.
  23.  After taking over as the Prime Minister, she criticized the European Court, in April 2014, over data retention which Telenor Group, a Norwegian multinational telecommunications, argued can be used without court proceedings.
  24.  She, as the Prime Minister of Norway has always tried to improve the China–Norway relations, which was damaged since Norway decided to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010.
  25.  Solberg, on July 13, 2017, in response to the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo's death, expressed deep grief and said "Liu Xiaobo was for decades a central voice for human rights and China's further development."
  26.  She married Sindre Finnes, a Norwegian business economist and organizational manager, on February 29, 1996, in Paris. The duo have two children - a daughter - Ingrid Solberg Finnes, and a son - Erik Solberg Finnes.
  27.  It is said that the couple met for the first time at a national meeting of the Norwegian Conservative Students' Union which was in February 1986.
  28.  She, as the Prime Minister of Norway, is known to have steered the country through a very crucial oil crisis, avoiding a recession at all cost.
  29.  She is a supporter of women's rights and has pledged to increase Norway's support for women's reproductive health rights by NOK 700 million by 2020.
  30.  From the year 2016, Solberg has co-chaired the UN Secretary General’s Advocacy group for the Sustainable Development goals, with specific interest in providing access to quality education for all, in particular girls and children in conflict areas.
  31.  Erna Solberg Net Worth: $1.6 Million

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