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Joop den Uyl


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Joop den Uyl

Johannes Marten den Uijl, better known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch: [ˈjoːb dɛn ˈœyl] (About this soundlisten);[1] 9 August 1919 – 24 December 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977.

Den Uyl a economist by occupation, worked during Second World War as a civil servant for the Ministry of Economic Affairs from 1942 until 1945 and as a journalist for the underground newspapers Het Parool and Vrij Nederland from 1942 until 1949 when he became director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation serving from 1949 until 1963. Den Uyl was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after election of 1956 serving from 6 November 1956 until 5 June 1963 when he was appointed as an Alderman of Amsterdam serving from 8 November 1962 until 14 April 1965. Following the fall of the Cabinet Marijnen on 27 February 1965 a new cabinet was formed and Den Uyl was asked to become Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Cals. Den Uyl accepted and resigned as Alderman the same day she took office as the new Minister of Economic Affairs on 14 April 1965. On 13 September 1966 Anne Vondeling resigned as Leader of the Labour Party, Den Uyl was chosen to succeed him and became the Lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the election of 1967. Following the election Den Uyl served as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives and a Member of the House of Representatives from 23 February 1967 until 11 May 1973. After the election of 1972 Den Uyl for a second time as Lijsttrekker won again four seats and after a long formation period a coalition agreement with the Catholic People’s Party (KVP), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the Democrats 66 (D’66) was made which resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Den Uyl with Den Uyl becoming Prime Minister taking office on 11 May 1973.

After his prime-ministership, Den Uyl remained in active politics and returned as the Parliamentary leader in House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 10 September 1981 and a Member of the House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 11 September 1981. He became Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Minister for Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from 11 September 1981 until 29 May 1982 in the Cabinet Van Agt II. After the fall of this cabinet, Den Uyl again became the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives from 7 September 1982 until his resignation as Parliamentary leader and as the Labour Party Party leader on 21 July 1986, he was succeeded in both positions by Wim Kok. He served as a Member of the House of Representatives for the last time from 16 September 1982 until his death on 24 December 1987.

He was seen as an idealistic, but also polarizing politician. Throughout history, Dutch political leaders have tended to soothing manners – Den Uyl was one of a relatively few exceptions. People either loved him or hated him. Followers of his idealistic policies called him Ome Joop (Uncle Joop).[2] He was criticized for creating a budget deficit and polarizing Dutch politics.[3] Associated with Den Uyl was the maakbare samenleving (the makeable society, the idea that society is constructed and that government is a player in the construction). Another idea associated with Den Uyl was de verbeelding aan de macht (imagination in the driver’s seat, the power of conceptual thinking, particularly in politics).

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