It was with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing of Wim Kok, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and my close friend.
Wim Kok was an extraordinarily skilful statesman. Throughout his long political career he achieved important social reforms and was a devoted European who fought for equality and civil rights in a way I truly admire. As Prime Ministers, we worked together on the launch of our single currency, the euro, and for a more social Europe.
My thoughts are with his wife Rita, his children and his grandchildren and all those who were close to him. He will be greatly missed.