Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Willoch graduated as an economist (cand. oecon.) from the University of Oslo. He served in the Norwegian Brigade that formed part of the Allied occupation in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, after World War II, and became a dedicated friend of Germany during that time.
Willoch was a member of the Norwegian parliament representing Oslo from 1957 to 1989. He was cabinet minister for trade in 1963 and again 1965-1970. He then became chairman of the Conservative Party 1970-1974, and was Prime Minister of Norway from 1981 to 1986. His government instituted a number of reforms to reverse social democratic policies that have proven to be durable. Willoch came under criticism for not acting sooner to arrest Arne Treholt, who was subsequently convicted for treason in favor of the Soviet Union.
Willoch served as Governor ("Fylkesmann") of Oslo and Akershus from 1989 to 1998, and from 1998 to 2000 he was chairman of NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. He was also director of the Nansen Institute . Since 1986, he has been deputy chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU), and he has been President of the Deutsch-Norwegische Gesellschaft (German-Norwegian Society).
Willoch earned a reputation as a sharp-witted, sometime ascerbic politician. During his years in parliament and in various governments, he was respected by his political allies and opponents alike, but never gained the popularity of other prime ministers in his time.
Considered one of the most conservative politicians in his time, he has in later years adopted positions at odds with the traditional conservative platform. He has been a vocal, harsh, and uncompromising critic of the state of Israel. Willoch has also criticized what he has characterized as "predatory capitalism." Lately, he has worked to offer political asylum to the convicted Israeli traitor Mordechai Vanunu.
He speaks Norwegian, English, German and French, and has published a number of books.
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