Jozias van Aartsen

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Jozias van Aartsen

Jozias Johannes van Aartsen (born December 25, 1947 in The Hague) is a Dutch politician and member of the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Former agriculture minister (1994-1998) and former foreign minister (1998-2002). He was the parliamentary leader of the VVD in the Dutch Lower House from May 27 2003 until March 8 2006 when he stepped down because of poor results in the 2006 Dutch municipal election. His successor was Willibrord van Beek member of parliament since 1998 <ref> (Dutch) Willibrord van Beek tussenpaus VVD Nederlandse Omroep Stichting March 9 2006 Link</ref>. In August 2006 Van Aartsen announced he would not run as a candidate for the VVD in the 2006 general election. <ref>(Dutch) Jozias van Aartsen vertrekt na verkiezingen Elsevier 21 August 2006 Link</ref>. In a letter <ref> (Dutch) Letter at Link</ref> to party leader Mark Rutte he expressed his disappointment with the demise of the Second Balkenende cabinet which in his view was uncalled for. He also warned for VVD interparty warring between a populist fraction with a no-nonsense attitude and focus on tax cuts and law and order and a liberal fraction focused on personal freedoms, Rule of law, international orientation and education.

[edit] Biography

Jozias van Aartsen is the son of Jan van Aartsen, himself a minister of the Netherlands from 1958 to 1965. After completing the Gymnasium-a he studied law at the Vrije Universiteit but did not graduate. At the age of 22 van Aartsen moved to The Hague to work in politics.

When Hans Wiegel became party leader, in 1971, van Aartsen was asked to work for Hans Wiegel as employee of the party in the Dutch Tweede Kamer. In 1974 he became General Manager of the Prof. mr. B.M. Telder Foundation, the scientific institute of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. In 1978 Van Aartsen became Chef de Bureau of the Secretary General of Interior. He did this under ministers Rietkerk, van Dijk, de Korte, de Koning, Dales and de Graaf. In 1985 he became Secretary General of Interior himself. He was minister of Agriculture from 1994-1998 in the First cabinet of Wim Kok. In the Second cabinet of Wim Kok he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. When the cabinet fell as a direct result of the NIOD report about the fall of Srebrenica, he became parliamentary leader in the Dutch parliament.

On April 1 2004 an attempt was made to overrun van Aartsen by a car when he and a co-worker were doing a photoshoot in front of Hotel Des Indes in The Hague. Van Aartsen was not hurt but the co-worker did sustain a shoulder injury. The assailant, a 41 year old lawyer by the name of Frederiek de Jongh and an employee of Bureau Rechtshulp in Utrecht confessed her action was politically motivated.

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Jozias van Aartsen

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