Māris Gailis

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Māris Gailis
Māris Gailis 2011-08-20.jpg
Prime Minister of Latvia
In office
15 September 1994 – 6 August 1995
President Guntis Ulmanis
Preceded by Valdis Birkavs
Succeeded by Andris Šķēle
Personal details
Born (1951-07-09) July 9, 1951 (age 64)
Riga, Soviet Union
Political party Latvian Way
Spouse(s) Zaiga Gaile
Alma mater Rīga Technical University

Māris Gailis (born July 9, 1951 in Riga) is a Latvian businessman and former politician. He is the former Prime Minister of Latvia and served from September to December 1995. In the government of the Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs, M. Gailis became a Minister of State Reform. In the government of the Prime Minister Andris Šķēle, M. Gailis was the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. As a member of the right-wing liberal political party, Latvian Way, he was elected in the 5th Saeima and 6th Saeima. He has led the yacht expedition Milda around the globe from 2001 to 2003.


From 1958 to 1969 he studied at the Riga Secondary School No. 1. Afterwards he enrolled in the Riga Poly – Technical Institute, where he studied at the Faculty of Electric Energy from 1969 to 1971. Later, he transferred to the Faculty of Engineering and Mechanics and graduated in 1978 by acquiring higher education in engineering sciences. He interrupted his studies from 1971 until 1973, due to his service in the Soviet Army in Belarus where he operated a tank squad.

Work experience[edit]

In 1973 he started working as a senior equipment engineer in the Riga Furniture Factory Teika that was subject to the Ministry of Timber Processing Industry of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. He worked there until 1979. From 1983 to 1985 he was the Chief Work Technical Inspector in the Central Committee of the Wood, Paper and Timber Processing Industry Worker Trade Union. From 1979 to 1983 – Chief Power Engineer in the Ministry of Timber Processing Industry of the Latvian SSR. From 1985 to 1987 the Head of the Video Section in the Latvian SSR State Cinematography Committee. Established the Riga Video Centre, where he worked as its Director from 1987 to 1990.[1]

State administration[edit]

In 1990 his career in state administration started. For the two following years he worked as Director General of the Republic of Latvia Council of Ministers External Economic Relations Department. After two years he moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he worked for seven months, until September 1992, as a Deputy for Economic Issues of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Jānis Jurkāns.[2]


At the end of 1992, together with persons sharing the same views, he established the most influential right-wing liberal political party of that time Latvian Way. In 1993 Māris Gailis was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 5th Saeima from the list of Latvian Way. In the government of the Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs Māris Gailis became a Minister of State Reform and Deputy Prime Minister. In August 1994 Māris Gailis was proposed for the office of Prime Minister and on 15 September the Saeima approved the government put together by Māris Gailis. He worked as Prime Minister until 21 December 1995. Māris Gailis was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 6th Saeima as well, where he did not work the entire term of office. From November 1994 to December 1995 – Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. In 1995, in the government of Andris Šķēle, Māris Gailis was Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. In 1996 he announced leaving politics, stepped down from the minister’s position, resigned as a Member of Parliament and turned to business.


LLC Māris Gailis, Chairman of the Board. LLC Nilda, President. JSC Latvian Shipping Company, JSC Līvānu stikls, SJSC Latvian Post, Supervisory Council Member. Until 2003 – JSC Latvijas Gāze, Chairman of the Supervisory Council; LLC Latrostrans. Until 2004 – LLC Tax Free Shopping, Chairman of the Board. JSC Ventspils nafta, Council Member. JSC Latvian Shipping Company, Chairman of the Supervisory Council. LLC Ziemeļzunds, Chairman of the Board. LLC Māris Gailis un partneri, Chairman of the Board. LLC MG nekustamie īpašumi, Chairman of the Board. Real property project development.[3] The most significant objects: Gypsum Factory, Ķīpsala terraced houses, etc. In 2011 he established a cloud computing technology company LLC VESet, where he is currently a Board Member.

Public appointments[edit]

Has been the Head of several official state delegations of Latvia, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the visit of US President B. Clinton to Latvia. Latvian Olympic Committee, Member of the Executive Committee (1996–2000). President of the Latvian Yachtsmen Union (1996–2006), currently the Honorary President.[4] Association Burinieks, Chairman of the Board. Association Žaņa Lipkes memorials, Chairman of the Board.[5]

Creative projects[edit]

In 1976 built one of the first windsurfing boards in Latvia and participated in the first windsurfing regatta on Lake Ķīšezers.[6] In 1985 developed the Latvian SSR Culture Pavilion in the World Youth and Students’ Festival in Moscow. Director of the Acting Committee of the International Film Forum Arsenāls (1986–2011). Together with Augusts Sukuts founded the International Film Forum Arsenāls, the first of which took place in 1988.[7] Has led the yacht expedition Milda around the globe. On 9 July 2001, on his 50th birthday, on the yacht Milda (21 m long and 50 tonne two-mast schooner) he left for a trip around the globe that lasted for two years. On 22 April 2003, after an approximately 40,000 nautical mile journey and visiting more than 30 countries, Milda arrived at Ventspils Port.[8] In 2005 established a non-governmental organisation Žaņa Lipkes memoriāls. (During the Second World War a Riga Port worker Žanis Lipke saved 55 Jews by hiding them in his family property in a secret pit created beneath the wood barn.).[9] In 2008 a foundation - stone was laid in Ķīpsalā for the construction of a memorial (architect Zaiga Gaile) that was completed in 2012. Location: Mazais Balasta dambis 8. Together with his wife Zaiga Gaile, Māris Gailis was awarded the Riga City Council Award Resident of Riga of the Year 2013 (Gada rīdzinieks 2013).


Zaiga and Māris Gailis “Furniture for young people” („Mēbeles jauniem cilvēkiem”). Riga, publishing house Avots, 1987, 143 pages. The book was published in Russian as well: in 1990 by the publishing house Молодая гвардия in Moscow, 172 pages. “Technologies of Power” („Varas tehnoloģijas”). Rīga, publishing house Jumava, 1997, 314 pages. The book was published in Russian as well, but under the name “Six years in Power” (“Шесть лет во власти”) (Jumava, 1997, 334 pages). “Milda Around the World” (““Milda” apkārt pasaulei”). Rīga, publishing house Valters un Rapa, 2004, 223 pages.


He is married to Zaiga Gaile who is an architect. He has four children; Iveta Leinasare, Agnese Irbe-GAile, Gatis Gailis, and Mārtiņš Gailis. He has eleven grandchildren.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Varas Tehnoloģijas, Māris Gailis, 11. lpp., ISBN 9984050564
  2. ^ Varas tehnoloģija, Māris Gailis, 52. lpp., ISBN 9984050564
  3. ^ "Intervijā Māris Gailis: draugiem.MG :: Diena.lv". Diena.lv. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Juras burasanas cempionats". Balticmarinenews.lv. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Latvijas Republikas Ārlietu Ministrija: Atklāts Žaņa Lipkes muzeja projekts "PAGRĪDES RĪGA" (Žaņa Lipkes memoriāls)". Mfa.gov.lv. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Daudz vēja dzimšanas dienā!". Diena.lv. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "TVNET :: Kino - Gailis: "Arsenāls" ir beidzies un lai paliek labā piemiņā". TVNET. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Aprit 10 gadi, kopš jahta "Milda" apceļoja pasauli". YouTube. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "TVNET :: Notikumi - No vēstures nav jākautrējas. Saruna ar Māri Gaili". TVNET. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Valdis Birkavs
Prime Minister of Latvia
15 September 1994 – 21 December 1995
Succeeded by
Andris Šķēle