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Former Netherlands top minister Wim Kok dies aged eighty

Former Netherlands top minister Wim Kok dies aged eighty
 Former Dutch prime minister Wim Kok. Photograph: Jerry Lampen/REUTERS

Architect of consensus model oversaw legalisation of euthanasia and gay marriage

Wim Kok, a former Dutch prime minister who helped forge the united states of america’s famed consensus-based totally politics and oversaw the pioneering legalisation of euthanasia and gay marriage, has died of coronary heart failure at the age of eighty.

Kok led centrist coalitions among 1994 and 2002, overseeing a period of restoration after which of sturdy monetary growth.

A labour union chief earlier in his profession, he became one architect of the united states of america’s famed “polder” or consensus-primarily based version of politics, wherein unions agreed to pay restraint in change for greater jobs, while employers and the authorities assured assist and retraining after redundancies.

As prime minister, he reined in spending on healthcare, pensions, schooling and baby blessings, using the savings to promote employment.

In a global first, euthanasia turned into legalised within the Netherlands in 2002, formalising decades of practice.

Though Denmark had first legalised gay partnerships in the 1980s, the Netherlands observed in 1998 and have become the primary to erase any distinction between identical-intercourse and different marriages in 2001.

Kok turned into pals with Tony Blair, then British top minister and bill Clinton, america president as they crafted the slight centre-left “1/3 way”.

“Shaking off ideological feathers is not a problem simplest. For a political birthday celebration like ours, it’s also a freeing enjoy,” Kok stated of guidance Labour toward the political centre.

Modern-day top minister Mark Rutte praised Kok as a person who “stood above political parties”.

Kok turned into “definitely reliable, totally upright, and continually targeted on solutions”, Rutte said in a statement.

The world over, Kok become strongly pro-ecu, supporting to seal eu financial and monetary union on the Amsterdam summit in 1997.