German Gref


German Gref

Infobox Minister



name = German Oskarovich Gref Герман Оскарович Греф
nationality = Russian
order = Minister of Economic Development and Trade
term_start = 18 May 2000
term_end = 21 September 2007
predecessor = Andrei Shapovalyants
successor = Elvira Nabiullina
birth_date = birth date and age|1964|2|8
birth_place = Panfilovo, Pavlodar oblast' Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
death_date =
death_place =
party = No affiliation

German Oskarovich Gref ("German:" Hermann Gräf, "Russian:" Герман Оскарович Греф, born February 8, 1964) is a Russian economist of German origin, the founder of "Center of the Strategic Development". He was the Minister of Economics and Trade of Russia from May 2000 to September 2007. He currently is the president of Sberbank.

Education and early career

Gref was born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (now Kazakhstan), the son of ethnic German deportees who were exiled there in 1941. He attended Omsk State University as a law student from 1985 to 1990 after fulfilling his two year military obligation. Then he moved to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and taught law at Leningrad University while completing his post-graduate degree, which he finished in 1993. In addition to his teaching position at Leningrad University and his studies, Gref worked in the Saint Petersburg City Administration in various capacities, such as legal adviser (a position he had also held when in Kazakhstan), and other jobs, most dealing with property and real estate.

Moscow years

In August of 1998, Gref was appointed First Deputy Minister of State Property of the Russian Federation, and was a member of its board until 2000. He was also appointed to the board of the Federal Commission for the Securities Market of the Russian Federation and the board of state-owned Gazprom in 1999, both positions he still holds.

Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

Gref was first appointed as Minister of the newly formed Ministry of Economic Development and Trade by Vladimir Putin on May 18, 2000. He held the position from 2000 until Putin sacked Mikhail Kasyanov's Cabinet in March of 2004. Gref was reappointed to the position in the succeeding Cabinet, headed by Mikhail Fradkov.

In his position, Gref was one of major advocates of joining the World Trade Organisation. He is also responsible for creation of Stabilisation Fund. It was originally gathered for payments by the Russian external loan, but soon overrun the limits of the loan. The controversy spark among economists in Russia, should the government spend Stabfund money immediately on current needs, or should it, as Gref preferred, to keep and develop it, using it in stock investments.

He was dismissed from the Cabinet in September 2007, after Fradkov was replaced by Victor Zubkov. [James Rodgers, [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7012042.stm "New Russian cabinet takes charge"] , BBC News, September 25, 2007.]

At an extraordinary general meeting on November 28, 2007 he was voted to become the new president of Sberbank. [Catrina Stewart, [http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2007/11/29/042.html "Sberbank Approves Gref as New Head"] , The Moscow Times, November 29, 2007.]

Liberal reformer

Gref was considered to be one of the "Liberal Reformers" in Putin's Administration. The others were Mikhail Zurabov, the Minister of Health and Social Development until September 2007, and Alexei Kudrin, Minister of Finance, and a Deputy Prime Minister under Prime Minister Putin. In early 2005, the three men came under fire for reforms to benefits for the elderly that they suggested and the State Duma had approved in 2004. Many of the reforms had to do with replacing free benefits, such as medical care and transportation, with cash benefits. This replacement angered many of the elderly because transportation costs were increasing. Protests took place all over Russia, but neither the administration nor the State Duma responded to these protests in any substantial way. The President reprimanded Kudrin on national television, and a few members of the State Duma went on a hunger strike for a short period of time. A no-confidence vote against Fradkov's cabinet was called by the State Duma in early February, but it failed. Some analysts saw the whole affair as an attempt to either discredit or perhaps get rid of one of the three men by other members of the cabinet. However, this was never proven and Gref, Kudrin, and Zurabov all retained their jobs.

References

External links

* [http://www.gazprom.ru/eng/articles/article8835.shtml Gazprom]
* [http://nccg.ru/en/site.xp/050049049124.html National Council on Corporate Governance]


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