Former Dutch PM, wife die ‘hand in hand’ by euthanasia | World News - Hindustan Times

Former Dutch PM, wife die ‘hand in hand’ by euthanasia

Feb 14, 2024 09:57 PM IST

The couple had been in fragile health for some time.

Former Netherlands prime minister Dries van Agt and his wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg died by euthanasia earlier this month.

Former Dutch PM Dries van Agt and his wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg.(X)
Former Dutch PM Dries van Agt and his wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg.(X)

According to a human rights organisation founded by Agt, the couple died “hands in hands”. They were buried in a private ceremony in the eastern city of Nijmegen. The news about their death was made public on February 9.

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“He (Dries van Agt) died hand in hand with his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg, the support and anchor with whom he was together for more than 70 years and whom he always continued to refer to as ‘my girl,’” the non-profit said in a statement.

The couple had been in fragile health for some time, according to the Associated Press. In 2019, Van Agt suffered a brain haemorrhage while giving a speech at a commemoration event for Palestinians. He never fully recovered.

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A Christian Democrat, Van Agt became increasingly progressive after he departed politics. In 2017, he left his Christian Democratic Appeal over ideological differences regarding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Referring to Van Agt as his “great-great-grandfather in office”, incumbent Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke highly of the former politician.

“With his flowery and unique language, his clear convictions and his striking presentation, Dries van Agt gave colour and substance to Dutch politics in a time of polarization and party renewal,” Rutte said in a statement, according to AP.

The Dutch royal family also praised the former prime minister saying that he took responsibility in a turbulent time.

“He took administrative responsibility in a turbulent time and managed to inspire many with his striking personality and colourful style,” King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix said in a joint statement.

In 1999, following a visit to Israel, he became increasingly vocal about his support for the Palestinian people. He referred to his experience of the trip as a “conversion.”

The couple is survived by their three children.

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