Willem Drees

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Willem Drees (About this sound Dutch pronunciation ) (July 5, 1886 - May 14, 1988) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from August 7, 1948 until December 22, 1958. He is praised by many as the most important Dutch politician after World War II for his important contributions and social reforms laws.[2][3] Drees was chosen as the best Prime Minister of the Netherlands after World War II after a opinion polling conducted by the VPRO in 2006.[4]


Early years

Willem Drees was born in Amsterdam on July 5, 1886. After completing his secondary education in 1903 he worked until 1906 for the Twentsche Bank in Amsterdam. This was followed by a period as a stenographer with the Municipal Council of Amsterdam and then between 1907 and 1919 with the Dutch Parliament.

Political career

Early political career

In 1904 he joined the Social Democratic Workers' Party, which later was absorbed into the Dutch Labour Party in 1946. From 1910 to 1931 he was chairman of The Hague branch of the Social Democratic Workers' Party and between 1913 and 1941 a member of the Municipal Council of The Hague. During that period he was alderman for social affairs from 1919 to 1931 and for finance and public works through to 1933.[5]

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