|Birth Day:||June 13, 1959|
|Birth Place:||Sibiu, Romania|
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After earning a science degree from the Babes-Bolyai University, he taught physics at several different Romanian high schools. Before being elected Mayor, he held the position of Sibiu County's Deputy General School Inspector.
Iohannis is fluent in German and Romanian at a native level and also speaks English. The original spelling of his name (which is German) is Johannis, but the name was registered by a Romanian official as Iohannis on his birth certificate and he has used both spellings interchangeably. In 1989, he married ethnic Romanian Carmen Lăzurcă, an English teacher at the Gheorghe Lazăr National College in Sibiu. They have no children. Iohannis is also a member of the Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania, the German-speaking Lutheran church in Transylvania.
He joined the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR) in 1990, and served as a member of its board of education in Transylvania from 1997, and a member of the local party board in Sibiu from 1998. In 2001, he was elected President of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania.
Iohannis established contacts with foreign officials and investors. Sibiu was declared the European Capital of Culture of 2007, along with Luxembourg (the bearer of the distinction in 1995). Luxembourg chose to share this honourable status with Sibiu due to the fact that many of the Transylvanian Saxons emigrated in the 12th century to Transylvania from the area where Luxembourg is today. Sibiu, or Hermannstadt in German, was built by the Transylvanian Saxons, was for many centuries the cultural centre of that group, and was a predominantly German-speaking city until the mid 20th century. Many Germans left the city after World War II, and especially in 1990, within months of the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Born in the historic centre of Sibiu to a Transylvanian Saxon family, Klaus Iohannis is the eldest child of Gustav Heinz and Susanne Johannis. He has a younger sister, Krista Johannis (born 1963). His father worked as a technician at an enterprise, while his mother was a nurse. Both his parents as well as his sister emigrated from their native Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) to Würzburg, Bavaria in Germany in 1992, acquiring citizenship there under the right of return granted by German nationality law, as most other Transylvanian Saxons after the fall of the Iron Curtain. However, he chose to live and work in Romania. As of 2014, his parents, sister and a niece live in Würzburg. Iohannis has stated that his family settled in Transylvania in present-day Romania 850 years ago. After graduating from the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca in 1983, Iohannis worked as a high school physics teacher at various schools and colleges in Sibiu, including, from 1989 to 1997, the Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium in Sibiu, the oldest German-speaking school in Romania. From 1997 to 1999, he was Deputy General School Inspector of Sibiu County, and from 1999 until his election as mayor in 2000, he was the General School Inspector, head of public schools in the county.
In 2000, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania in Sibiu decided to back him as a candidate for mayor. Despite the fact that Sibiu's German minority had shrunken to a mere 1.6%, Iohannis was elected with 69.18% of the votes and has won three re-elections in a row, getting some of the largest electoral scores in the country: 88.69% of the vote in 2004, and 83.26% in 2008. He is the first ethnic German mayor of a Romanian city since Albert Dörr, who served from 1940 to 1945.
On 7 November 2005 Iohannis was nominated as the "Personality of the Year for a European Romania" (Romanian: Personalitatea anului pentru o Românie europeană) by the Eurolink – House of Europe organization.
On 14 October 2009 the leaders of the opposition parliamentary groups (the National Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, and the group of smaller ethnic minorities), proposed Iohannis as a candidate for Prime Minister of Romania, after the government of Prime Minister Emil Boc fell a day before as a result of a motion of no confidence in the Parliament. Coming from outside the national-level politics of Romania, Iohannis had an image of an independent politician, although his party has consistently allied itself with, and Iohannis campaigned in the prior European Parliament elections for, the National Liberal Party. The National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), and the group of small ethnic minorities in the Parliament subsumed Iohannis as their common candidate for Prime Minister of an interim government. On 14 October, Iohannis confirmed acceptance of his candidacy. However, on 15 October President Traian Băsescu nominated Lucian Croitoru, a top Romanian economist, as Prime Minister, and charged the latter with forming the country's next government.
In 2009, Iohannis had stated that he might possibly run for the office of President of Romania, although not in that year. Former Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu had said on 27 October 2009 and again on 23 April 2010 that he would like to see Iohannis become President of Romania.
On 20 February 2013, Klaus Iohannis joined the PNL, announcing this during a press conference with Crin Antonescu. At a PNL extraordinary congress, he was elected First Vice President of the Party. In the meeting of 28 June 2014, he was elected President of the PNL with 95% of the votes.
President Klaus Iohannis is a supporter of the fight against corruption in Romania. Since coming to power in November 2014, has sent several messages of support to prosecutors investigating sensitive cases against politicians accused of corruption. Making one of its important position was in 25 February 2016 at the annual meeting of the National Anticorruption Directorate: “From year to year the work of the National Anticorruption Directorate has become more effective as the number of cases investigated and complexity, as well as final decisions on confiscation and recovery of property from crime. You are a model of functional institution and created a performance standard. Through the work and achievements, you've earned the appreciation of the Romanian citizens who want to live in a just society, in a country without corruption, the institutions, elect to represent them and those who perform public functions are actually serving the people. The results obtained by you in fighting corruption, appreciated and beyond Romania's borders are a guarantee that the process of strengthening democracy and the rule of law in Romania are on track. I am convinced that we will be increasingly more powerful in applying the constitutional principle that nobody is above the law and to align our established practice in countries with democracies that put the citizen at the center of any policy”, stated Klaus Iohannis.
In February 2016, the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) sent a notice of evacuation of the headquarters of two TV stations owned by Dan Voiculescu, sentenced in August 2014 to 10 years imprisonment in a corruption case with 60 million euros worth of prejudice. In this context, Klaus Iohannis stated that ANAF approach in Antena TV Group case is "hasty", "inappropriate" and that "freedom of expression in media can not be suppressed for trivial administrative reasons". His position was met with a wave of criticism from supporters and public figures. On the same note, Iohannis stated that union with Moldova is "a less serious approach" in the context of the Transnistrian problem, of differences between Romania and Moldova regarding economic stability and fighting corruption, and can be discussed when things are stable in both countries. The statement sparked indignation among unionists who accused him of demagogy, considering that during the electoral campaign of 2014 he expressed a favorable position on the issue. In March 2018, at the 100-year anniversary of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania, he was absent from a plenary vote regarding the issue.
In March 2017, a sub-group of the ethnically Hungarian Székely community in southeastern Transylvania launched a petition demanding autonomy for their region, arguing for political and administrative self-rule, their own elected president and flag, as well as the recognition of Hungarian as an official language next to Romanian. Iohannis, on a visit to the region in July, cautioned against decentralization and the creation of regions based on the ethnic origin of residents. He argued for more and improved cooperation between Romanians and Hungarians "as the only solution for us" instead, stressing local administrative reforms and developing the region.
Iohannis criticized Ukraine's 2017 education law, which makes Ukrainian the only language of education in state schools, and cancelled his visit to Kiev in October 2017. Iohannis said that Ukraine's new education law "will drastically limit the access of minorities to education in their native language. We are deeply hurt by this. We have many Romanians in Ukraine."
On 28 April 2020, a draft legislation favouring the autonomy of Székely Land, submitted by two deputies of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania in December 2019, was tacitly adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Parliament of Romania, in which the Social Democratic Party (PSD) holds the majority of seats. The draft bill was automatically adopted after it exceeded the 45-day deadline for debate. On 29 April, Klaus Iohannis criticised the draft's adoption in a television speech, stating "as we ... fight the coronavirus pandemic, ... the PSD ... fights in the secret offices of the parliament to give Transylvania to the Hungarians". In his speech, he used Hungarian language in a mocking manner: "Bună ziua ["good day" in Romanian], dear Romanians; jó napot kívánok ["good day" in Hungarian], PSD." On the same day, the draft was rejected in the Senate, with both PNL's and PSD's senators voting in favour of the rejection.
Currently, Klaus Iohannis is 63 years, 5 months and 20 days old. Klaus Iohannis will celebrate 64th birthday on a Tuesday 13th of June 2023.
Find out about Klaus Iohannis birthday activities in timeline view here.