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Geir Hilmar Haarde

In office
15 June 2006 â€“ 1 February 2009
President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Preceded by Halldór Ásgrímsson
Succeeded by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

Born 8 April 1951 (1951-04-08) (age 58)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Political party Independence Party
Spouse(s) Patricia Angelina (div.)
Inga Jóna Þórðardóttir
Alma mater Brandeis University
Johns Hopkins University
University of Minnesota
Profession Economist
Religion Lutheran (Church of Iceland)

Geir Hilmar Haarde (pronounced [ˈceɪːr̯ ˈhɪlmar̯ ˈhɔrtɛ]) (born 8 April 1951[1]) was Prime Minister of Iceland from 15 June 2006[2] to 1 February 2009 and Chairman of the Icelandic Independence Party from 2005 to 2009. Geir initially led a coalition between his party and the Progressive Party. After the 2007 parliamentary election, in which the Independence Party increased its share of the vote, Geir renewed his term as Prime Minister, leading a coalition between his party and the Alliance. That coalition resigned in January 2009 after widespread protests following an economic collapse in October 2008.



Geir was born in the Icelandic capital Reykjavík to Tomas Haarde, a Norwegian from Rogaland, and an Icelandic mother. He received his bachelor's degree in the United States at Brandeis University as a Wien Scholar, graduating with a degree in Economics, then went on to earn two Master's degrees – in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University and in economics from the University of Minnesota.

Prior to entering the Althing (the Icelandic Parliament), Geir was an economist at the Central Bank of Iceland from 1977 to 1983 and was a political adviser to the Icelandic Minister of Finance from 1983 to 1987.[2] He was a member of the Althing for 22 years, 1987-2009. Geir was Chairman of the Independence Party Parliamentary Group from 1991 to 1998[1][2] and a member of the Alþing's Foreign Affairs Committee from 1991 to 1998;[1] he was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee from 1995 to 1998.[1][2] He served as Minister of Finance from April 1998 to September 2005 and then as Minister for Foreign Affairs from September 2005 to June 2006. He was elected Chairman of the Independence Party in an uncontested election in October 2005, following the departure of Davíð Oddsson.

Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, Geir Haarde, Donald Rumsfeld and Björn Bjarnason at the Pentagon in October, 2006

Following the announcement of Halldór Ásgrímsson's resignation as Prime Minister on 5 June 2006,[3] Geir succeeded him as Prime Minister on 15 June.[2]

On 23 January 2009, Geir announced that due to health reasons (malignant oesophageal tumour), he would step down as chairman of the Independence Party at the next party congress on 26-29 March 2009.[4] On the same day, he announced that an early general election would be held on 9 May 2009, in which he would not be a candidate.

On 26 January 2009, Geir announced that he and the Social Democrats would not continue in the coalition government.[5] He was replaced by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir from the Social Democratic Alliance, formerly minister of Social Affairs and Social Security, on February 1 2009.

On 8 April 2009, Geir stated that he was solely responsible for accepting controversial donations to the Icelandic Independence Party in 2006, ISK 30 million from the investment group FL Group, and ISK 25 million from Icelandic bank Landsbanki.[6]

Note on the name

In Iceland, Geir is usually referred to as "Geir H. Haarde", or simply as "Geir" according to the Icelandic custom of using given names primarily (both when addressing someone and when referring to that person). Geir is among the rather few Icelanders whose last name is a surname rather than a patronymic (i.e., the father's name with a -son or -dóttir suffix). "Haarde" is a Norwegian family name, inherited from his Norwegian father.

Notes and references

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Halldór Ásgrímsson
Prime Minister of Iceland
2006 – 2009
Succeeded by
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
Preceded by
Friðrik Sophusson
Minister of Finance
1998 – 2005
Succeeded by
Árni Mathiesen
Preceded by
Davíð Oddsson
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Valgerður Sverrisdóttir
Party political offices
Preceded by
Davíð Oddsson
Chairman of the Independence Party
2005 – 2009
Succeeded by
Bjarni Benediktsson, Jr.


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