Ruud Lubbers, who as the Netherlands' longest serving prime minister led his country through economic turmoil to prosperity and helped shape the foundations of the European Union, died Wednesday. He was 78.
The Dutch government announced that Lubbers died in Rotterdam surrounded by his wife and children. No cause of death was given.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte hailed Lubbers, who led the Dutch government from 1982 to 1994, as a statesman who dragged the Netherlands through tough economic times.
"With his broad knowledge and experience and his tireless creativity, he knew how to find a solution for every problem," Rutte said on Facebook.