(Oslo) Former conservative Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg deplored “a serious breach of trust” on Friday by revealing that her husband had carried out, largely without her knowledge according to her, more than 3,600 stock market transactions while she was in power .
During a press conference where she struggled to contain her tears, Mme Solberg admitted that the multiple stock market transactions carried out by Sindre Finnes while she led the country between 2013 and 2021 should, because of the risks of conflicts of interest, have made her incompetent for certain decisions she took.
Responsible in an employers’ organization, Mr. Finnes “did much more than he told me,” explained the former head of government.
In eight years, Mr. Finnes carried out 3,640 stock market transactions which resulted in 1.8 million crowns (226,159 Canadian dollars) in profits, according to a list produced by the person concerned at the request of Mr.me Solberg, herself pressed with questions by the press.
“The list shows that Sindre was not honest with me when I was prime minister nor when I confronted him about this matter,” said Mr.me Solberg. “It’s a serious breach of trust.”
The number and nature of the decisions taken against the backdrop of possible conflicts of interest are not known at this stage. Mme Solberg assured that she had not provided her husband with information likely to constitute insider trading.
His revelations sparked calls for a police investigation, or even his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party.
In Norway, politicians and their spouses are required to familiarize themselves with a “political management manual”, a 47-page booklet which addresses in particular the issue of private finances and conflicts of interest.
This affair comes as four ministers of the center-left government which succeeded that of Mme Solberg have recently been implicated for conflicts of interest. Two resigned.
Mme Solberg, who hopes to return to power after the 2025 legislative elections, indicated that in the event of an electoral victory, her husband would have to place his savings in a simple bank account or in funds, without the possibility of trading in particular securities.