Wim Kok

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Willem "Wim" Kok (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪm ˈkɔk]  ( listen)); born September 29, 1938) is a retired Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from August 22, 1994 until July 22, 2002.

He is a former trade union leader who succeeded Joop den Uyl as party leader of the Dutch Labour Party in 1986. After three years in the opposition he became Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in the Lubbers III Cabinet. After winning the Dutch General Election of 1994, Kok became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, leading the Cabinets Kok I and Kok II, also known as the Purple Coalitions.

On April 11, 2003, he was granted the honorary title of Minister of State.[2]



Early life

Willem Kok was born on September 29, 1938 in Bergambacht in the Dutch Province of South Holland. After completing his studies at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit business school, he started his career in 1961 at the socialist Nederlands Verbond van Vakverenigingen (NVV), where he was chairman from 1973 until 1982. Between 1976 and 1986 he was chair of the Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV), a merger of the NVV and the Catholic trade union NKV, which he had overseen.


In 1986, Kok succeeded Joop den Uyl as leader of the social democratic Labour Party. From 1989 until 1994 he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in a cabinet with the centre-right party Christian Democratic Appeal.

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