Prime Minister for a decade, Persson guided Sweden through some of its most challenging economic crises
- Former Prime Minister of Sweden (1996 - 2006)
- Former leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party
- Former President of the European Council
- Honorary PhD in medicine, Orebro University
- Topics Covered includeSustainable Development, EU development and EU enlargement, Leadership & Negotiations, International peace and development and The financial turnaround of Sweden 1994 - 1998
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Social Democrat politician Gran Persson served as Prime Minister for Sweden for a decade, helping to address some of the countrys economic difficulties at the time.
Early Potential Hans Gran Persson was born on the 20th of January 1949 in Sweden. Born into a working class family, he has revealed that his childhood ambition was to become a priest. When he was old enough, he studied social science at rebro College. He decided not to complete the course, and left college in 1971.
Politics After leaving rebro, he became a member of the national board of the Social Democratic Youth League (SSU). In 1975 he became a city council politician in Katrineholm. He was made a member of parliament in 1979, but returned to Katrineholm as a municipal commissioner in 1985, staying in this role for four years.
Persson became the Swedish Ministry for Educations Minister of Schools in 1989, a position which was relatively short lived due to the fact Ingvar Carlsson and his Social Democrat party were not re-elected in 1991.
Sweden was afflicted by a recession in the early 1990s and in 1994, Persson and several colleagues presented a proposal, known as the Persson Plan, in order to help address the issues facing the countrys economy. In 1994, the Social Democrats were voted back into power and Persson became minister for finance. In the two years he held this post, Persson worked to repair the Swedish economy.
Prime Minister Persson became the Prime Minister of Sweden in 1996. His work to stabilise the economy continued and by 1997, sufficient improvements had been made to allow Sweden to qualify for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) of the European Union. Although the Social Democrats were not voted into office in the 1998 election, support from other parties meant that Persson was able to retain his position.
The economy continued to improve and by 1999 growth was considerably above the European average. Income tax was lowered in the year 2000 and the country was prospering once again. Soon afterwards, Swedens economy, like many others, was unexpectedly hit by the burst of the dot com bubble, meaning yet more careful financial management was required.
In 2001, during Swedens presidency of the EU, Persson was also president of the European Council. He remained Prime Minister of Sweden until 2006.
Career Post Politics After leaving politics in 2007, Persson began working part time for JKL group, a PR company in Stockholm. Persson began working as Chairman for forestry business Sveaskog in 2008.
Personal and Charitable Interests Persson joined the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, which aims to research and reduce intolerance and prejudice, in 2008. Since 2010, he has been a member of the board of directors of the World Resources Institute, a think tank which aims to research methods to protect the environment, now and in the future.
Persson has been married three times; to Gunnel Claesson (with whom he has two children), between 1978 and 1995, and to Annika Barthine between 1995 and 2002. He married his current wife Anitra Steen in 2003.
- Sustainable Development
- EU development and EU enlargement
- Leadership & Negotiations
- International peace and development
- The financial turnaround of Sweden 1994 - 1998
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