VIP Lounge: Former prime minister Dries van Agt

This programme is part of the series VIP Lounge
Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt (r) and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Hague in 1981 (© Wikimedia)

VIP Lounge was a series of portraits produced in the late 1980’s of well-known Dutch people who gained international fame for their professional achievements. Our guest in this programme was jurist, diplomat and former prime minister Andries Van Agt. A Roman Catholic born in 1931, Van Agt served as minister of justice in the 1970’s, during a dramatic and deadly three-week hostage standoff with Moluccan separatists, and during the stormy shifts in ethics and social values that dominated the age. In spite of his continuous reservations about politics, he served as prime minister from 1977 to 1982 and had to deal with the lingering legacy of the Second World War and the highly divisive issue of the stationing of NATO cruise missiles. At the time of this interview Dries van Agt was the European Union (then the EEC)’s ambassador to Japan at a crucial time.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

Broadcast: August 1, 1987

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