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Former Dutch Prime Minister and Wife Die ‘Together and Hand in Hand’ at 93

According to a statement, Dries van Agt referred to his wife, Eugenie, as "my girl" throughout their 70-year relationship. The couple chose to die simultaneously by euthanasia last week

<p>BNA Photographic/Alamy</p> Drie van Agt and wife Eugenie

BNA Photographic/Alamy

Drie van Agt and wife Eugenie

Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife, Eugenie, died by duo euthanasia last Monday, holding each other's hands. Both were 93 years old.

Van Agt served as prime minister between 1977 and 1982 and was the first leader of Netherlands' Christian Democratic Appeal party.

The Rights Forum — a pro-Palestinian group van Agt founded in 2009 — announced the couples' death in a statement.

"On Monday, February 5, Dries van Agt died in his hometown of Nijmegen, together and hand in hand with his beloved wife Eugenie van Agt-Krekelberg. The funeral took place privately. Both were 93 years old," the statement, translated from Dutch, read.

The statement said van Agt, who was a practicing Catholic, was "one of the first well-known Dutch people who dared to put the fate and rights of the Palestinians on the agenda. In that context, he spoke of a mission he had accepted: 'If someone else won't do it, I will.' He stuck to that until his death."

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The organization further described van Agt as "an engaging and striking personality, who used a characteristically flowery and somewhat archaic idiom. He was interested in everything and everyone."

"Typically, he remembered the names of people who had worked for him long ago," the statement added. "For us, van Agt was a friend and inspiration. As 'van Agt's Club,' as we are often called, we will continue to build vigorously on the foundation he laid. His mission is in good hands with us."

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According to The Rights Forum, van Agt suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2019 which "permanently impaired" his functioning and made him "frustrated that his creativity, concentration and ability to deliver passionate speeches had been affected."

"Gradually he withdrew from public view, fully aware that he had entered the final phase of his life," the organization said in its statement.

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As van Agt's health declined in his later years, so, too, did the health of his wife, Eugenie, with whom he was in a relationship for more than 70 years. But according to the organization, even in the end, van Agt referred to her as, "my girl."

"On February 5, they died simultaneously, hand in hand," the group added.

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