Andris Bērziņš (born 10 December 1944) is a Latvian businessman and politician. He is the President of Latvia, having won the presidential election held on 2 June 2011. From 1993 to 2004, Bērziņš was the President of Unibanka.
Andris Bērziņš was born 10 December 1944 in Nītaure, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union. In 1958 he completed studies at a Nītaure primary school, and attended the 1st secondary school of Sigulda from 1958 to 1962. He then began studying at the Riga Polytechnical Institute, which he graduated in 1971, and became a radio engineer at the "Elektrons" factory. He worked his way up to director and in 1988 was appointed deputy minister of municipal services of the Latvian SSR. He also studied at the Economic Faculty of the Latvian State University, which he graduated in 1988.
In 1989 Bērziņš was elected to the Valmiera district Council (Soviet) of People's Deputies and was appointed chairman of the district's executive commission. In 1990 he was elected to the Supreme Council of the Latvian SSR, representing Valmiera. He joined the Latvian Popular Front faction in the Supreme Council. On 4 May 1990 he voted in favor of the declaration that restored the independence of the Republic of Latvia.
After the completion of his term as deputy in 1993, Bērziņš became chairman of the Privatization Fund of the Bank of Latvia. He also became president of Latvijas Unibanka (a joint-stock company; 1993–2004). Bērziņš became a successful businessman and his estate exceeded 1 000 000 lats (by the mid 2000s). He also owned 30 various land properties. Bērziņš worked as an advisor to the president of SEB and was a board member of several joint-stock companies, including Valmiera stikla šķiedra (Valmiera fiberglass) and Lode.
Andris Bērziņš returned to politics in 2005, when he unsuccessfully ran for the office of Mayor of Riga as the leader of the Union of Greens and Farmers party list. From 2006 to 2010 he served as the president of the Latvian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and was also Latvenergo's board chairman (until 2009).
In 2010 Andris Bērziņš was elected deputy of the Saeima from the slate of candidates presented by the Union of Greens and Farmers.
2011 presidential election
On 23 May 2011 Andris Bērzinš was nominated as a presidential candidate by five Union of Greens and Farmers deputies.
In the first round of the election (2 June 2011), Bērziņš received 50 votes for and 48 against, while Valdis Zatlers got 43 for and 55 against (99 lawmakers cast votes, but one was invalid), meaning no one was elected. In the second round, held later on the same day, Bērziņš received 53 votes, winning the election. Andris Bērziņš took office as President of Latvia on 8 July 2011.
Andris Bērziņš married Dace Seisuma a couple days before assuming office as president. This is his second marriage. Apart from his native language, he speaks in English, German and Russian.
On 3 September 2012 president threatened to television operators "Guys, You want me to beat you over the head? Long time you haven't been attacked.."
Honours and awards
- Order of the Three Stars Class I with chain (2011)
- Order of Viesturs Class I (2011)
- The Cross of Recognition Class I (2011)
- Commander of Order of the Three Stars (2000)
- Commemorative pin for participants in the 1991 barricades (1996)
- "President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš". President.lv. http://www.president.lv/pk/content/?cat_id=8806. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Алексеев, Юрий (3 June 2011). "Юрий Алексеев. Судьба президента" (in Russian). Delfi. http://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/versions/yurij-alekseev-sudba-prezidenta.d?id=38892075. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Andris Berzins elected new president in Latvia". BBC. 2 June 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13628945. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Petrova, Alla (2 June 2011). "Andris Berzins – newly elected president of Latvia". baltic-course.com. http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=41761. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Berzins to start fulfilling President of Latvia duties". Baltic News Network. 8 July 2011. http://bnn-news.com/berzins-start-fulfilling-president-latvia-duties-31616. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Kas ir jaunais prezidents Andris Bērziņš?" (in Latvian). Kas Jauns. 2 June 2011. http://www.kasjauns.lv/lv/zinas/49302/kas-ir-zatlera-konkurents-andris-berzins. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Ar otro piegājienu par prezidentu ievēlēts eksbaņķieris Andris Bērziņš" (in Latvian). Delfi. 2 June 2011. http://www.delfi.lv/news/national/politics/ar-otro-piegajienu-par-prezidentu-ievelets-eksbankieris-andris-berzins.d?id=38870393. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- LETA (30 May 2011). "Saeima to elect Latvia President on June 2". BNN. http://bnn-news.com/saeima-elect-president-latvia-june-2-28344. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "ZZS pārstāvji prezidenta amatam izvirza Bērziņu" (in Latvian). Apollo. 23 May 2011. http://www.apollo.lv/portal/news/articles/238844. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Andri Bērziņu prezidenta amatam virzīs pieci ZZS deputāti" (in Latvian). Delfi. 23 May 2011. http://www.delfi.lv/news/national/politics/andri-berzinu-prezidenta-amatam-virzis-pieci-zzs-deputati.d?id=38652237. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Prezidentu pirmajā balsojumā neievēl: par Zatleru 43, Bērziņam - 50" (in Latvian). Tvnet. 2 June 2011. http://www.tvnet.lv/zinas/latvija/379826-prezidentu_neievel_par_zatleru_43_berzinam_50. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Prezidenta vēlēšanu pirmajā balsojumā 'izgāž' gan Zatleru, gan Bērziņu" (in Latvian). Delfi. 2 June 2011. http://www.delfi.lv/news/national/politics/prezidenta-velesanu-pirmaja-balsojuma-izgaz-gan-zatleru-gan-berzinu.d?id=38864003. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- "Bērziņu ievēlē par Valsts prezidentu" (in Latvian). TvNet. 2 June 2011. http://www.tvnet.lv/zinas/latvija/379748-berzinu_ievele_par_valsts_prezidentu. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Bērziņš nodod svinīgo solījumu un oficiāli stājas prezidenta amatā" (in Latvian). Delfi. 8 July 2011. http://www.delfi.lv/news/referendums-2011/prezidents/berzins-nodod-svinigo-solijumu-un-oficiali-stajas-prezidenta-amata.d?id=39463377. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Prezidents Andris Bērziņš apprecējies". mango.lv. 18 September 2011. http://mango.delfi.lv/zinas/slavenibas/politiki/prezidents-andris-berzins-apprecejies.m?id=39400353. Retrieved 6 July 2011. (Latvian)
- "President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš". President.lv. http://www.president.lv/pk/content/?cat_id=8806. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Prezidents Bērziņš agresīvs: "Čaļi, pa galvu vajag, ja?". VIDEO Kasjauns.lv
- "Bērziņš saņems augstākās šķiras Triju Zvaigžņu ordeni". tvnet.lv. 7 July 2011. http://www.tvnet.lv/zinas/latvija/383950-berzins_sanems_augstakas_skiras_triju_zvaigznu_ordeni. Retrieved 7 July 2011. (Latvian)
- "Bērziņš saņems augstākās šķiras Triju Zvaigžņu ordeni". apollo.lv. 7 July 2011. http://www.apollo.lv/portal/news/articles/243170. Retrieved 7 July 2011. (Latvian)