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Archbishop Zbignevs Stankevics named 2011 "European Person of the Year in Latvia"


Riga Archbishop Zbignevs Stankevics has won this year's "European Person of the Year in Latvia" award, the he European Movement in Latvia informed LETA.

The winner of the title was selected by a public opinion poll, conducted by the European Movement Latvia, to identify the person whose contribution to Latvia and Europe had been the greatest in 2011.

Supporters of Stankevics said: ''This person is genuine and speaks from the heart. He is an intelligent man, who knows how to speak with a wide range of people.''

''Stankevics is a modern day European who is in the right frame of mind. He is strong a supporter and defender of Latvia's European values,'' writes another.

LETA also reported, in 2010, researcher at the AI Laboratory of the University of Latvia's Institute of Mathematics and Information Science, Ilmars Poikans - the notorious hacker known to the public as "Neo'', won the award, in 2009, Latvian Radio journalist in Brussels Ina Strazdina won the award, in 2008, then European Parliament deputy and current Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis (Unity) won the award, in 2007- then EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, in 2006 - "Radio SWH" journalist Girts Salmgriezis, in 2005 - then European Parliament member and current Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), in 2004 - then European Parliament member Georgs Andrejevs, in 2003 - football player Maris Verpakovskis, in 2002 - singer Marija Naumova, in 2001 - former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, in 2000 - singer Renars Kaupers and the group "Prata Vetra" and in 1999 - politician Valdis Birkavs.