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Ex Dutch Minister Commits Suicide After Battling Depression

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The Hague: Former Dutch housing and integration minister Ella Vogelaar has died at the age of 69, her family reports.

Vogelaar, who was deputy leader of the FNV union federation before becoming a minister, suffered from depression and ended her own life, her partner Onno Bosma said.

Late Vogelaar was appointed as a minister on behalf of the Labour party in 2007 and charged with tackling the problems in the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

But after a number of difficult episodes in her ministerial career and public disagreements with the Labour leadership, she lost the confidence of the coalition and stood down.

In later years, she continued to support plans for further cooperation between the PvdA, GroenLinks and the Socialist party.

Party leader Lodewijk Asscher described her as ‘a strong, committed woman who had a big heart.’

Prime minister Mark Rutte described her death as tragic. ‘She was a real social democrat with strong principles,’ he said on Twitter.

During her short time in office, Vogelaar introduced a list of forty disadvantaged neighborhoods in large cities and helped them receive extra investments.

Those neighborhoods were soon given the name “Vogelaar neighborhoods.’’

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