Trond Giske

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Trond Giske
Kulturminister Trond Giske på åpningen av Rockheim.jpg
Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry
In office
20 October 2009 – 16 October 2013
Monarch Harald V
Preceded by Sylvia Brustad
Succeeded by Monica Mæland
Norwegian Minister of Culture and Church Affairs
In office
17 October 2005 – 20 October 2009
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Preceded by Valgerd Svarstad Haugland
Succeeded by Anniken Huitfeldt
Norwegian Minister of Church, Education and Research
In office
17 March 2000 – 19 October 2001
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Preceded by Jon Lilletun
Succeeded by Kristin Clemet
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
for Sør-Trøndelag
In office
1 October 1997 – present
Leader of the Workers' Youth League
In office
1992–1996
Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland
Preceded by Turid Birkeland
Succeeded by Anniken Huitfeldt
Personal details
Born (1966-11-07) 7 November 1966 (age 51)
Trondheim, Norway
Political party Labour Party
Alma mater University of Oslo

Trond Giske (born 7 November 1966) is a Norwegian former politician who served as deputy leader of the Norwegian Labour Party from 2015 until his resignation in 2018 as a result of the so-called Giske affair.

In December 2017 and in the context of the international Me Too controversy, Giske was accused of an extensive pattern of sexual harassment and sexual assault[1][2] of young women, leading to the so-called Giske affair, which dominated Norwegian media for several weeks. After admitting to some of the accusations against him, Giske was asked to permanently resign by party leader Jonas Gahr Støre on 1 January 2018,[3] which he subsequently did on 7 January 2018 shortly before the party executive committee were to debate the matter and shortly before Støre was about to state publicly that Giske needed to resign.[4] On 25 January 2018 the Labour Party ruled that Giske had violated the party's rules against sexual harassment and that his behaviour disqualified him from holding offices or positions of trust in the party.[5][6] In response Giske sought legal assistance against his own party.[7]

Giske was elected into the Norwegian parliament for Sør-Trøndelag county in 1997, and served as Minister of Education, Research and Church Affairs in the first cabinet of Jens Stoltenberg from 2000 to 2001, as Minister of Culture and Church Affairs in Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet from 2005 to 2009 and as Minister of Trade and Industry from 2009 to 2013. As a cabinet member he several times faced accusations of cronyism by having appointed little-qualified close friends to well paid government jobs, which also led to formal inquiries into his actions in the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs.[8]

Early life and education

Born 7 November 1966 in Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, he is the son of engineer Bjørn Giske (1938-) and associate professor Norunn Illevold (1935-). He attended both University of Oslo and Norwegian University of Science and Technology receiving a degree in economy in 1997.[9]

Political career

Active in the Workers' Youth League from an early age, Giske became the leader of its Trondheim branch in 1988, before becoming the leader of its Sør-Trøndelag branch the following year. In 1992 Giske was elected head of the Workers Youth League as a whole. He served until 1996, the following year he was elected to the parliament, the Storting for the first time, he has since been reelected on three occasions. In March 2000 Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg appointed Giske as the new Minister of Education and Church affairs. He would serve in this capacity until the minority Labour government fell in the 2001 elections.[10] 4 years later, the 2005 elections again swept the Labour party to power as a part of the Red-green coalition and Trond Giske was then appointed Minister of Culture.[11] He would remain in this position until October 2009, when as a part of a cabinet reshuffle he was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, succeeding Sylvia Brustad.[12]

Minister of Trade and Industry

In January 2012, Giske received widespread attention for his opposition to the sale of TV 2 to a Danish company. Giske spoke out against the transfer of 100% of TV 2's shares to the Egmont Group, at a price of 2.1 billion NOK (274 million euros), despite Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg stating his government would have no opinion on the case.[13][14] It was reported that Giske threatened the head of the Telenor Group, Harald Norvik, with the loss of his position if the sale went through.[14][15]

One of the policies championed during Giskes tenure as minister has been the so-called "salary moderation". The idea is that the leaders of state owned companies or companies where the Norwegian government was majority shareholder should not earn more in salary than their counterparts in the private sector.[16] Giske called on board members and CEO's to adhere to this policy or risk being replaced.[17]

Media appearances

As a well known Labour politician in Norway, Giske has had numerous appearances in the media. He displays an interest in culturally related subjects such as film, literature and especially football. He is also well known for his personal friendship with members of the Royal family, namely Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and her previous husband, the author Ari Behn. He is also known for being a big supporter of his home town football club Rosenborg.[18]

Controversy

Allegations of cronyism

Giske has several times faced accusations of cronyism by having appointed little-qualified close friends to well paid government jobs, which also led to formal inquiries into his actions in the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs.[8]

Entra

In October 2012 Trond Giske's long-time friend and Labour party colleague Rune Olsø was appointed CEO of Entra Eiendom a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Olsø was to receive NOK 4.2 million in salary, which was perceived by some to be in violation of Giske's own policy of moderation.[19] Later it was revealed that the chairman and vice-chairman of the board opposed the appointment of Olsø, but lost the vote due to pressure from members who had personal or political ties to Giske.[20] In the wake of the affair, prime minister Jens Stoltenberg appointed Bård Vegar Solhjell to handle the matter, as Giske had recused himself. Solhjell responded by firing three board members, including two who was largely seen as having close ties to Giske.[21] Ten days after the story broke, Rune Olsø resigned as CEO of Entra.[22]

Telenor

In October 2012 several media reported that Giske had demanded that his close friend and colleague Tore O. Sandvik be appointed to the board of directors of The Telenor Group, even though the board had stated that Sandvik "was not even close to being qualified", the board also objected due to the fact that Sandvik was considered one of Giskes closest friends.[23] According to the media reports Giske eventually relented, but only after the board accepted another friend, Hallvard Bakke, instead; Bakke himself stated that he had no knowledge about the telecommunications industry.[24] Giske vehemently denied ever having made the demand, claiming it might have been a mere proposal.[25]

On 25 October it emerged that Giske in 2009, when he was Minister of Culture, had personally appointed Tore O. Sandvik's wife and former party colleague Trine Brænden to the board of directors at the prestigious Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (TSO).[26] Giske stated that they were not close friends.[27]

Sexual misconduct and resignation

In December 2017, in what became known as the Giske affair, Giske was accused by multiple younger women of sexual harassment and sexual assault.[2] The accusations came in the context of the international Me Too debate in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, and dominated Norwegian media for several weeks. Giske admitted to some of the allegations of sexual misconduct, although he denied some of the accusations.[28] On 1 January 2018 he was relieved of his duty as deputy leader for the Labour Party for an indefinite period as a result of the allegations. [29] On 7 January 2018 he permanently resigned as deputy leader of the Labour Party stating that it was impossible for himself and his family to withstand the pressure of the picture that was painted of him by the media. Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre stated that he had asked Giske to permanently resign a week earlier.[4][3] Giske's final resignation came shortly before the party executive committee were to debate the Giske affair.[3] According to Aftenposten, Giske's resignation came only hours before party leader Støre was about to state publicly that Giske did not have his confidence and needed to resign.[30] On 25 January 2018 the Labour Party ruled that Giske had violated the party's rules against sexual harassment and that his behaviour disqualified him from having offices in the party.[5][6] In response Giske sought legal assistance against his own party.[7]

Personal life

Giske was in a relationship with Anne Grethe Moe until they separated amicably in 2006. They have one daughter, Una, together.[31] Since 2014, he has been in a relationship with singer and television host Haddy N'jie and the couple had a daughter in 2016.[32]

Bibliography

See also

References

  1. ^ #MeToo Hits Norway: Top Politician Steps Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Time Magazine
  2. ^ a b AP-politiker Line Oma står frem som Giske-varsler
  3. ^ a b c Støre: – Dokumentasjonen underbygger varslernes historier, Aftenposten
  4. ^ a b Trond Giske trekker seg som Ap-nestleder
  5. ^ a b Ap: Trond Giske har brutt partiets etiske regelverk
  6. ^ a b Seksuell trakassering felte Giske, VG
  7. ^ a b Trond Giskes advokater prøver å gjøre saken til noe annet enn den er
  8. ^ a b Giske må svare på fire nye spørsmål
  9. ^ "Biografi: Giske, Trond". Biografier. Stortinget. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Lyssand, Halvard (17 March 2000). "Trond Giske ny utdanningsminister". Paraplyen.no (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tidligere kultur- og kirkeminister Trond Giske (Perioden 17.10.05-20.10.09)". Personer og enheter. Regjeringen.no. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Nærings- og handelsminister Trond Giske". Regjeringen.no. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Egmont acquires the rest of Norwegian TV 2 Archived 2012-01-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ a b Berglund, Nina (January 19, 2012). "Giske faces disciplinary action". Views and News from Norway. 
  15. ^ Berglund, Nina (January 12, 2012). "Trade Minister still in hot water". Views and News from Norway. 
  16. ^ "Giske kaller inn styreledere for å diskutere lønn". e24.no (in Norwegian). NTB. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  17. ^ Riber Sparre, Martin (23 August 2012). "- Jeg har nå gjort det enda tydeligere at jeg mener alvor". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Rasmussen, John. "- Rosenborg er i ferd med å miste sjela si". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  19. ^ Hegvik, Gunn Kari (11 October 2012). "Dette er Entra-saken". e24.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  20. ^ NTB (7 October 2012). "Entra-styret visste ikke om båndene til Olsø". Nrk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  21. ^ NTB. "Entra-styremedlemmer må gå". Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Skarvøy, Lars-Joakim (17 October 2012). "Rune Olsø går av som Entra-sjef". Vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  23. ^ Wergeland, Paal (22 October 2012). "- Giske ville ha venn inn i Telenor-styret". Nrk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Dalen, Per-Magne (23 October 2012). "Giske ville ha kompisen inn i Telenor-styret". tv2.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Bilstad, Camilla (23 October 2012). "- Har aldri krevd styreplass, Giske: – Dette viser at valgkampen er i gang". Nrk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 October 2012. [permanent dead link]
  26. ^ NTB (24 October 2012). "Giske ga styreverv til vennens kone". Abcnyheter.no (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Redaksjonen (24 October 2012). "Giske ga styreverv til vennens kone". Tv2.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  28. ^ Newth, Magnus (20 December 2017). "DN: Trond Giske inn på teppet etter minst fire nye varsler". vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 December 2017. 
  29. ^ "Norway Labour Party's deputy leader suspended over harassment allegations". Reuters. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  30. ^ Giske trakk seg like før han skulle få mistillit fra Støre
  31. ^ Kristiansen, Bjørn (11 October 2012). "- Som kulturminister burde jeg vært nøyere på å sjekke habiliteten". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  32. ^ Maiken Svensen (1 April 2016) Haddy N'Jie og Trond Giske har fått barn VG.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sylvia Brustad
Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry
2009-2013
Succeeded by
Monica Mæland
Preceded by
Valgerd Svarstad Haugland
Norwegian Minister of Culture and Church Affairs
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Anniken Huitfeldt
Preceded by
Jon Lilletun
Norwegian Minister of Church, Education and Research
2000–2001
Succeeded by
Kristin Clemet
Party political offices
Preceded by
Turid Birkeland
Chairman of Workers' Youth League
1992–1996
Succeeded by
Anniken Huitfeldt
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